You’ve probably heard that you should walk 10,000-steps per day.
The origins of the 10,000-steps recommendation aren’t exactly scientific. Pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s were marketed under the name “manpo-kei,” which translates to “10,000 steps meter”. Well, it was pure genious because the idea really caught on. Now, medical experts all over the world recommend it as a way to help reclaim your health.
In fact, in the US, the American Heart Association uses the 10,000-step workout as a benchmark exercise and recommends it as one of the effective ways to reduce risk of heart disease, the #1 killer of men and women in the country. The 10,000-steps goal is an approximation of the 30-minute daily exercise that the Surgeon General advocates.
How far is 10,000 steps anyway?
The average person’s stride is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.
A sedentary person who sits at a desk all day may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has enormous health benefits. If you’ve been inactive for quite some time may find the idea of 10,000 steps somewhat intimidating. Don’t worry about it. Just go out and take a walk.
There are many ways you can increase your daily steps. The best way is to build walking and exercise into our daily routine. Use your imagination and come up with your own list:
- Get up from your desk walk around 5 minutes every hour
- Walk the dog (dog’s are great for exercise 7 stress relief)
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park the farthest from the store
- Better yet, walk to the store
- Park a mile from your appointment
What will this do for you?
Performing this daily will not only reduce your odds of developing heart disease, it also increases your energy and vitality, helps reduce your waist size, bringing about a lower body mass index (BMI), and decreased risk of developing diabetes.
10,000-steps is equivalent to about 5 miles. IBut as was mentioned, opt to start gradually, and use the 10,000-step workout as a landmark to achieve once you’ve finally gotten used to exercising on a regular basis.
In the end it really doesn’t matter how many steps you walk. It’s about building good habits. Get up, and get started. Any activity you do today that you didn’t do yesterday, you will start benefiting from it.
If you make it part of something bigger, it’ll give you a bigger sense of immediate purpose. Join a local walking, hiking, biking, or running club. Start preparing for a 5k or a 10k. Before you know it, who knows? You might even run a marathon!