How Long Does It Take to Reach 10,000 Steps on a Treadmill?

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With the massive popularity of fitness trackers and the emphasis on maintaining an active lifestyle, many individuals strive to achieve the recommended goal of taking 10,000 steps per day. 

While outdoor walking remains popular, using a treadmill offers a convenient and weather-independent option for reaching this target. If you’re wondering how long you need to walk on a treadmill to achieve 10,000 steps, several factors will come into play. 

This article will explore the approximate time required, the impact of stride length, incline, decline, and treadmill speed on step count, and some tips to maximize your treadmill workouts.

How Long Does It Take to Reach 10,000 Steps on a Treadmill?

You can expect to hit your 10,000-step goal in a little over 90 minutes of brisk walking on a treadmill. When walking at this pace, most people can cover about a mile (roughly 2,200 steps) every 20 minutes. Length of stride, incline, decline, and treadmill speed can all impact this total.

Not sure which treadmill to buy? Make sure and check out our treadmill buying guide here!

What Factors Impact How Long It Takes To Reach 10,000 Steps on A Treadmill?

While many people will want to walk normally on their treadmill, using no incline or other ways to challenge themselves further, others prefer to make their 10,000 steps more demanding.

Doing this will change how long it takes you to get to 10,000 steps. Let’s take a look at exactly how.

Stride Length

Stride length plays a significant role in determining the number of steps you add while walking. If your stride length is shorter, you must take more steps to cover a specific distance, and vice versa. Generally, an average stride length falls between 2.2 to 2.5 feet. 

However, this depends from person to person, depending on factors such as height, leg length, and walking style. 

Focus on taking smaller, faster steps rather than long strides to maximize step count. Shorter strides demand a quicker pace if you want to get your steps in a reasonable time. Longer strides make it feel like you are walking a little slower but allow you to cover more distance.

Incline and Decline

Walking on an incline or decline on a treadmill can simulate the challenges and benefits of outdoor walking or hiking. Incline settings increase the effort required, engaging different muscles and boosting calorie burn. 

When walking uphill, the intensity of the workout increases, which may result in covering fewer steps over a given period. 

runner on stairs getting 10,000 steps
10,000 of these steps and you’ve had quite a workout!

On the other hand, walking downhill or on a decline may allow you to accumulate steps more quickly. While these factors can influence step count, finding a balance that suits your fitness level and goals is essential.

Treadmill Speed

The pace at which you set your treadmill significantly affects the time it takes to reach 10,000 steps. A moderate pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour is generally recommended for brisk walking. However, if you aim to achieve the 10,000-step goal in less than 90 minutes, you may need to increase the speed slightly. 

Walking faster will enable you to cover more distance and steps within the same time frame. Gradually increase your speed as you build endurance, ensuring it remains comfortable and manageable.

Maximizing Your Treadmill Workouts

Since you will be on that treadmill for about 90 minutes daily anyway (assuming you only use a tread to hit your step goals), why not get the most out of your time there?

As you walk more consistently, you’ll find it gets easier with time. When you notice that shift in how challenging your time on your treadmill is, it’s time to add some elements!

Here are a few additions to help you make the maximum of your treadmill exercises and achieve your step count goals:

Interval Training

Incorporate interval training into your treadmill routine by alternating between higher-intensity periods at a faster pace and recovery periods of slower walking. This method can help increase calorie burn and step count.

The actual intervals don’t matter, but I prefer to run for one minute and then walk for two. This very effective workout reduces your time to 10,000 steps and significantly improves your cardiovascular health simultaneously!

Using a service like iFit really helps here. They have built-in interval training along with a myriad of other ways to make getting your 10,000 steps more effective.

Incorporate Incline Intervals

Vary the incline levels during your treadmill workout to challenge your muscles and increase intensity. For example, alternate between walking on a flat surface and walking uphill.

You can also combine this with speed intervals. You can walk uphill and then jog on a flat surface. You could sprint on an incline and then walk without one. There are a ton of options!

Man running on an inclined treadmill
Incline makes things interesting!

Multitask

Make your treadmill workouts more enjoyable and productive by multitasking. Listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks (check out our recommended book and podcast list here!), or watch your current favorite TV show or movie while walking. 

This can distract you from the time and make your workout more engaging. I like to go to Netflix, which has a “90-minute movies” category. That way, I don’t even need to count steps. I watch the movie, and when it’s over, I’m done!

Track Your Progress

Utilize fitness tracking apps or wearable devices to monitor your step count, distance covered, and progress over time. Tracking your progress helps you stay encouraged and allows you to set new goals and celebrate your achievements.

For some, this means a basic FitBit. More in-depth trackers like the Oura ring or Whoop band are appropriate for others.

Set Realistic Goals

While reaching 10,000 steps is a standard benchmark, it’s essential to set realistic and attainable goals for you. Start with a lower step count and gradually work up if you’re just starting. Remember that consistency is critical, and any effort towards being more active benefits your health.

And please remember! 10,000 steps is an arbitrary number. There isn’t anything magic about that number. If your current fitness level means 5,000 steps is a challenge, start there!

If you are a beast who laughs at 10,000 steps, step it up (pun intended)! Tim, the owner of GymCrafter, puts in almost 20,000 steps a day just at the dog park! He upped that 10,000 step goal a long time ago!

Dog at dog park helping their owner get in 10,000 steps
Tim’s dog Anny helps him get his steps in every day at this dog park! Twice around this 2.1 mile loop in the morning and twice at night. On rainy days, Anny watches Tim get his steps in on his treadmill.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels during your treadmill workouts. If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s essential to slow down, modify your speed, or take a break as needed. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to harmful injuries, so always prioritize your well-being.

The Verdict

Walking on a treadmill offers a convenient and effective way to accumulate steps and achieve your daily goal of 10,000 steps. While the time required to reach this target varies depending on factors such as stride length, incline, decline, and treadmill speed, a general estimate is around 90 minutes of brisk walking.

Remember to personalize your workouts based on your fitness level and goals, and remember to incorporate variety and monitor your progress. With consistency and dedication, you can use the treadmill as a valuable tool to improve your overall fitness and achieve your step count goals. 

So lace your shoes, jump on the treadmill, and take those steps towards a healthier and more active lifestyle!

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AUTHOR

Shayla Whitters is an experienced fitness writer with degrees in exercise science and health and wellness. She is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and a sports nutritionist (CISSN). Her passion is writing about fitness so as to inspire others to change their lives for the better.

4 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take to Reach 10,000 Steps on a Treadmill?”

    • Keep in mind that 10,000 steps is a goal for sedentary people. There is nothing magic about taking 10,000 steps. It’s a totally arbitrary number. The point is to be active and it sounds like you already are!

      Reply
  1. This is really different for everyone. Shorter people tend to get their steps in faster because their steps are shorter. Power walkers will be less time than those that take their time. There really isn’t a right answer for this question.

    Reply

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