Walking 20000 Steps A Day: Benefits, Tips, + What To Expect

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Virtually every doctor or healthcare professional will tell you that the more walking you can do, the better.

While one study found that walking just 4,400 steps per day reduces the risk of death by 41% compared to walking fewer than 2,700 steps per day, the mortality risk decreases as you walk.

Therefore, walking 20000 steps per day is a fantastic workout. 

In this article, we will discuss how to walk 20000 steps a day; the calories burned walking 20000 steps a day, and tips for walking 20000 steps per day.

We will cover: 

  • How Many Miles Is 20000 Steps?
  • How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 20000 Steps a Day?
  • 5 Tips for Walking 20000 Steps a Day

Let’s jump in!

A person walking their 20000 steps a day.

How Many Miles Is 20000 Steps?

Walking 20000 steps a day can certainly sound like a lot, especially to beginners, but how many miles are 20000 steps?

How far you will walk if you walk 20000 steps a day depends on your step length or stride length, which can be thought of as the amount of ground you cover between each step (right foot to left foot) or each stride (the distance covered by one full gait cycle, or right foot to right foot landing again).

The longer your steps and strides, the further you will walk over the course of 20000 steps.

Step length depends on numerous factors, such as your height, walking speed, sex, age, fitness level, and the terrain you’re walking on.

Of these factors, height tends to be the most significant. Taller individuals have longer legs, so they can take longer steps or strides.

You can determine your approximate step length by counting the number of steps you take over a certain distance or by wetting your feet and measuring the distance between footprints.

Alternatively, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center reports that the average step length for women is approximately 26 inches, whereas the average step length for men is approximately 31 inches.

Because a mile is equal to 5,280 feet, we can determine that the average man takes 2,000 steps per mile, and the average woman takes about 2,437 steps per mile.

Therefore, walking 20000 steps a day works out to walking 10 miles (16 km) for the average man and 8.2 miles (13.2 km) for the average woman.

A person walking on rugged terrain.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 20000 Steps a Day?

One of the benefits of walking 20000 steps a day is that you will burn a lot of calories. 

Of course, the more you weigh, the faster you walk, the further you walk, and the steeper the incline, the more calories you’ll burn walking.

The best way to estimate the number of calories you burn walking 20000 steps a day is to monitor your heart rate and use a fitness watch that records the distance and speed that you are walking.

If you don’t have a heart rate monitor or GPS running watch, you can calculate the approximate number of calories you burn walking 20000 steps a day using the METs values for walking at different speeds and inclines.

Below, we’ve created a table that shows the calories burned walking 20000 steps at different paces and body weights based on the METs values for walking from the Compendium of Physical Activities

A person walking on a treadmill.

We used the average step length of 31 inches, so walking 20000 steps will total 10 miles.

Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)Calories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph Calories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 3.5 mph Calories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 4.0 mphCalories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 4.5 mphCalories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% GradeCalories Burned Walking 20000 Steps a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade
Two people laughing and walking with hand weights.

5 Tips for Walking 20000 Steps a Day

Walking 20000 steps a day can seem completely overwhelming.

Here are some tips to help get you there:

#1: Consider a Weighted Vest

If you are walking 20000 steps a day, you have clearly developed excellent aerobic fitness, strong legs, strong lungs, and a strong heart.

To make your walking workouts more challenging, you can wear a weighted vest for part or all of the walk, gradually increasing the percentage of the time that you wear the vest.

#2: Train for an Event

Walking 20000 steps a day builds a fantastic fitness base, which can allow you to take part in lots of different physical activities without becoming completely exhausted.

One fun option is to train for an event.

For example, you might sign up to walk a 10k or half marathon, or you might want to go on a hiking trip or tour some exciting destinations like the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, or the Swiss Alps.

Setting a big, exciting goal can make it easier to stay motivated during your daily walks.

Two people power walking.

#3: Vary Your Walks

Add variety to your walking workouts to prevent boredom and fitness plateaus by continually challenging and changing the stimulus on your body.

Walk on different terrains, such as grass, trails, roads, or the treadmill, and vary the incline and speed that you walk. 

Consider adding intervals of brisk walking or steep hills to elevate your heart rate.

#4: Listen to Audiobooks or Podcasts

Walking 20000 steps a day can take quite a bit of time, but you can multitask during your walking workouts by enjoying a great audiobook or riveting or informative podcast.

You can also consider calling a friend and talking on the phone, brainstorming for an upcoming work meeting, or allowing your creative juices to flow so that you’re getting more than just your exercise done.

A person walking on a road surrounded by flowers.

#5: Take Your Nutrition Seriously

The table above demonstrates that walking 20000 steps a day burns a lot of calories.

Therefore, it’s important to feed and hydrate your body like an athlete in training. 

Focus on eating unprocessed, natural foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, eggs, low-fat dairy, seeds, and nuts.

Drink plenty of water, and carry water on your walks, either via a handheld water bottle or a hydration pack.

There are so many benefits of walking 20000 steps a day, from improving the function and health of your body to improving your mental well-being and cognitive performance.

Although walking 20000 steps a day is definitely an investment of time, it is also an invaluable investment that will serve you well throughout your lifetime.

If you are up to walking 200000 steps a day and are thinking about walking a half marathon, check out our guide here for more information.

Two people walking.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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