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Not sure about the distance you're covering with a daily walk or run?
Many people who exercise, count their steps but don't know how many miles they've covered. Normally, this isn't a big issue. But as Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets managed.“
So how many steps are in a mile? Generally speaking, most people have a stride length of 2.0 to 2.5 feet. So it typically takes 2,000 steps to walk one mile or 10,000 steps to cover five miles. That said, you will probably need a more accurate way to measure your steps to a mile, that’s based on your specific stride length.
Unfortunately, there isn't a “one-size-fits-all” answer when it comes to calculating your steps on a per-mile basis. Someone with a longer stride will cover more distance with every step than a person with a small stride.
For instance, a two-foot stride is approximately 2,640 steps in a mile while a three-foot step is 1,760 steps in a mile.
So, in this article, we will give you a two-step process to accurately measure how many steps are in the miles that you cover. We also provide a couple of charts you can use to “guesstimate” how many steps are covered in an average walk.
What You Will Learn
- Step #1: Purchase a Pedometer (or Use Your Smartphone)
- RELATED: 11 Morning Health Habits to Lose Weight
- Step #2: Measure Your Steps at a 400-Meter Track
- How to “Guesstimate” the Number of Steps in YOUR Miles
- Getting Started By Counting Your Steps
Step #1: Purchase a Pedometer (or Use Your Smartphone)
There is only one way to be 100% certain of the steps that you're walking every mile…
Use a pedometer.
You'll be surprised that most pedometers are relatively inexpensive and they can be worn without making you feel like you have to carry yet another digital device. In fact, lots of people treat pedometers as a fashion statement (like the FitBit.)
If you're interested in learning more, then check out this resource page that we cover a wealth of information about purchasing the right pedometer for your needs. You don't have to blow the bank when selecting a pedometer — a good one (like the Fitbit Charge 3) usually costs a little over $100 and will last for years.
Another option is to use a step counter app on your smartphone. While these aren't as accurate as a pedometer, they do a good enough job to provide you with a decent estimate of how many steps you cover every mile.
You find one of these apps by using these search terms:
- Step counter
- Step tracker
- Fitness tracker
Finally, some models of iPhones have a built-in step counter. But depending on what version, you have, you might have to turn on this feature. This helpful tutorial will show you can do this.
Want to build a morning routine to shed those extra pounds? Then watch this video to discover the 11 habits to lose weight and feel great:
Step #2: Measure Your Steps at a 400-Meter Track
Once you have a pedometer (or have installed a step tracking app) head over to your local 400-meter track or a flat path that uses exact mile markers.
The goal here is to walk (or run) a mile at your normal pace and see how many steps you cover.
This is a simple process…
Take four laps around the track, which is slightly less than one mile. If you to be 100% precise, then cover an additional 9 meters, which brings your total to 1,609 meters — exactly a mile!
Or if you're pressed for time, you can complete one lap and multiply this number by four.
For instance, let's say it takes a person 500 steps to complete one lap according to his or her pedometer. That number times four would be 2,000. It would take approximately 2,000 steps to complete a mile.
One way to use this mile-per-step number is to update your step counter or pedometer. Most pedometers (like the Fitbit) allow you to personalize your device. This is important because whenever you cover that distance on a walk or run, then the device will give you an exact measurement of the miles that you cover.
As a personal example, I am 5′ 11″ and have a pretty long stride length. So I usually cover 1,800 steps when walking a mile and 1,200 steps when running a mile. If I stuck to the “standard” measurements my step tracker gave would be far to high.
Once you understand exactly how many steps you take to complete your mile you can easily reverse engineer this data and get a more accurate measurement on exactly how many steps you walked.
For instance, let's say a pedometer has calculated 10,000 steps for that day. That number divided by 2,000 would calculate to a completed 5 miles that day.
How to “Guesstimate” the Number of Steps in YOUR Miles
Still, want an even simpler answer on how to calculate your steps to miles?
Well, here are two charts you can use to approximate to give yourself a rough guess. These step counting charts are not exact, but if you just need a ballpark figure, they will suffice (until you can do the 400-meter test that I just outlined.)
The first chart is computed by a two-foot stride. It takes 2,640 steps to walk a mile. These steps are for those with shorter legs and a shorter height.
No. of Steps
No. of Miles
The second chart is computed between a 2.5 ft. stride. This is computed at 2,321 steps per mile for a height of 5 feet 5 inches.
No. of Steps
No. of Miles
This chart is computed on a three-foot step. It takes 1,700 steps to walk a mile. This would be more accurate for a much taller person with much longer legs.
No. of Steps
No. of Miles
Getting Started By Counting Your Steps
Hopefully, this article gave you a few solid strategies you can use to accurately predict your average step count. While we encourage you to do the 400-meter track test, you can get a decent result by using a pedometer or the step tracker that comes with most smartphones.
Remember that knowing how many steps you cover in a mile is an important metric that will be vital as you build rock-solid exercise habits. So we encourage you to take immediate action on the information that we just covered.
Now, if you'd like to take your walking efforts to the next level, then I recommend checking out the following resources related to walking and maximizing your daily efforts:
- The Ultimate Guide to Walking for Weight Loss
- 7 Benefits of an Early Morning Walk
- Is Walking a Good Exercise (and the Answers to 17 Other Questions)
- The Best Walking Shoes for Women
- The Best Walking Shoes for Men
- The Best Walking Shoes for Rainy Weather
- 15 Apps to Get Paid While You Walk
- A Review of the Aaptiv App That Provides an Individual Workout Plan
Finally, if you want to add a great HEALTH habit to your walking routine that increases your energy and helps with your weight goals, then take 30-seconds each morning to prepare this drink to feel energized throughout the day.