I Walked 12,000 Steps Every Day This Month—Here's What Happened

You've probably seen the latest wellness trend on social media: One TikToker coined it the “Hot Girl Walk,” and the hashtag has now amassed over 87 million views. In case you haven't heard, a “Hot Girl Walk” is a daily brisk walk, whether it’s 10 minutes or over an hour, in which you boost your mood and confidence by taking a moment for self-affirmations and listing off the things you're grateful for. Or you could be like me and just call your daily walks that, because why not?

I started going on my “Hot Girl Walks” a few months ago and really did notice a positive impact on my body and mind. I loved walking around my neighborhood and eventually found a route that had me walking three miles per day. After a couple of months of this routine, I started adding a mile here and there if I had extra time to push myself a bit further. More recently, I saw a TikTok on a celebrity trainer recommending an influencer start her fitness journey by walking 12,000 steps a day—which seemed overwhelming compared to my current routine—but she noted how incredible this exact daily step count impacted her mental and physical health and that she felt she was in the best shape of her life from this new low-impact regimen. I decided to give it a try. For 30 days, I would increase my daily steps to 12,000 and see if I too could reap the benefits.

I'm no stranger to self-imposed challenges. I once tried 30 straight days of HIIT workouts as well as sculpting my face by using the NuFace Mini for 60 days in a row. Once I set my mind to trying out a new habit, I decide on a time frame so I can hold myself accountable and measure my progress at the end of that set period, typically a month. After all, one of the core mantras here at THE/THIRTY is that it takes 30 days to form a new habit, so I was hoping to do just that.

We're already aware of the benefits of walking, like improving your cardiovascular fitness, increasing your body's metabolic rate, boosting your immune function, and helping lower your blood sugar, to name a few. Studies have also gone as far as researching how many steps it takes to see a lifelong impact. This recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that walking over 12,000 steps a day may reduce the risk of death by over 16 times. That's reason enough for me to embark on this new fitness routine, so on my journey I went.

To start this new routine, I first needed to find a reliable way to track my steps and a comfortable pair of walking shoes—two items that would soon become the foundation of my new fitness goal. I opted for the Fitbit Charge 5 for its advanced technology and sensors in a thin, sleek, and premium design. The watch not only tracks my steps, but it also has the tools to track and manage my stress, heart health, and sleep—keeping a pulse on my overall wellness. I quickly realized how far 12,000 steps for my height would be mile-wise. It nets out to about six miles and would take an hour and 45 minutes to complete. I opted for going on these walks every morning around 7 a.m., but you could also break it into two shorter, separate walks if that works better for your lifestyle.

Second, I needed to upgrade my footwear and was able to get my hands on a pair of Adidas UltraBoost 22s. I've always had an affinity for Adidas shoes, and I couldn't have been happier with this pair—the new refined and re-engineered shoe creates a better 360-degree fit and a more comfortable silhouette to meet the demands of a female runner's—or in my case walker's—feet and are perfect for everyday wear. I couldn't believe how comfortable they were, and I never had any pain or discomfort in my feet or legs throughout the entirety of the month.

When sharing my new routine with my friends, they often asked if I got bored walking for so long every day. I never did—I always made sure to have a good playlist at the ready or would switch over to a podcast or my go-to Harry Potter audiobooks. By the end of the 30 days, I had grown so fond of my walks I would look forward to them every morning. It gave me time to set my intentions, mentally prepare for the day ahead, and take a moment for myself. Physically, I also saw an incredible difference in my strength—I was able to walk six miles with ease. My body did start to change, too. I had shed 10 pounds in the span of the month and noticed I looked overall leaner, all from this daily low-impact exercise.

Now that the month is up, I have no intention of stopping. I couldn't recommend this as a daily exercise enough, but always talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns before switching up your routine. Start off with a route and distance you feel comfortable with and work your way up to 12,000 steps. You too will be loving your "Hot Girl Walks" in no time.

SHOP ALL OF MY WORKOUT ESSENTIALS

AirPods are essential for listening to music and podcasts on my walks.

You won't catch me leaving the house without my trusty Lululemon belt bag.

The back detail on this sports bra is just *chef's kiss*.

This is the best boxy tee I've ever purchased, and I can guarantee I'll be getting it in every color.

These shorts are perfect for those walks on warmer days.

These are the softest, most comfortable leggings I own. 

I'm picky when it comes to workout leggings, and these ones check all of my boxes.

Another super-soft pair of leggings I swear by.

Don't forget to wear your sunscreen! Supergoop! is a personal favorite for everyday wear.

Visors are another great way to protect your skin.

These protect your hair and are way cuter than your typical rubber bands.