Walking 10, 000 steps a day is good for our health. Unfortunately, most of us ignore this. Of course, counting our steps every time we move is difficult. You can’t count on yourself to measure your steps accurately. However, activity trackers like pedometers can do this for you. Read more why you should get yourself a pedometer.
Benefits of Walking 10,000 steps a day
The great thing about walking is you can do it anytime, anywhere and no matter what the weather is. Walking is identified as a moderate-intensity activity. Walking 10,000 steps a day may take you more than 150 minutes.
For a person aged 45, who weighs 70kg, walking 10,000 steps briskly can help him burn around 400 calories. If you are trying to lose weight, you should reduce your calorie intake by 600kcal and work on achieving 10,000 steps a day.
Aside from helping you maintain a healthy weight, walking 10,000 steps a day gives you the following benefits:
- Increased energy
- Stronger immune system
- Helps you shed extra pounds
- Reduce blood pressure
- Increased your physical stamina
- Better sleep
- Decreased anxiety
Pedometer Test Reveals That Americans Take Fewer Steps
One of the growing health concerns in the United States is obesity. In fact, 36 states have obesity rates of 25% or more. One in three adults is obese. Obesity is linked to a sedentary lifestyle. This condition is a serious threat to your health because it is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases like stroke. It is also a risk factor for diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis and even cancer. Thus, you have to keep moving or walk more to keep yourself away from obesity.
One study tracked the steps of 1,136 adults in the U.S. who wore pedometers for two days in 2003. The results were compared to similar pedometer studies in other countries, including Switzerland, Australia, and Japan. The results showed that Americans only took 5,117 steps a day on average, which is over 4000 steps shorter than Australia (9,694 steps) and Switzerland (9,650 steps). Meanwhile, it is 2,000 steps fewer than Japan, which has an average of 7,168 steps a day.
The study revealed that American men have an average daily step count of 5,340 while women only averaged 4,912 steps a day. Single people have higher daily step counts compared to married people with 6,076 and 4,793 step counts respectively. The researchers were surprised with the results. They can’t believe that Americans are sedentary. A person with step count of fewer than 5,000 steps a day is considered sedentary.
A year after, another pedometer study monitored the adults in Amish farming communities and they learned that Amish men averaged over 18,000 steps a day while Amish women averaged over 14,000 steps a day.
“These latest values are about one-third of what Amish people take in farming communities,” said David R. Bassett Jr. a professor in the department of kinesiology. “It really does suggest to us that there’s been a tremendous decline in the last century and a half in the amount of walking people do.”
The researchers learned that countries with high average daily steps have lower obesity rates. Their obesity rate only ranges from 3% to 16%.
Thus, you should track your daily step by equipping yourself with a pedometer. There are different types of wearable pedometers. There are pedometers that you can just clip on your belt, place in your pocket or bag and wear a fitness watch bracelet. Some of the best pedometer brands that you can count on include 3DTrisport, CSX, Omron, Ozo, Garmin, and Fitbit.
How To Achieve 10,000 steps a day
First, you have to use your pedometer to track your number of steps on a normal day. Determine how far or near you are to achieving 10,000 steps. Record your daily steps for over a week and use the total weekly number to work out your daily average. Use the daily average to build your steps gradually by adding more steps daily until you achieve 10,000 steps every day.
Second, take every opportunity to increase your number of steps. For instance, consider the following:
- Get off the bus a few meters from your usual stop and walk the rest of the way home or to work
- Walk to the station instead of taking the car or bus
- Use the stairs instead of the lift or walk up escalators
- Get yourself a shopping trolley and shop locally
- Walk your children to school or if you have a pet walk your dog in the park
Third, take this if you struggle with walking. Walking is so easy to do. For instance, you can do a few rounds of brisk walking in the park with your pet or walk in the oval while others jog. Actually, you can walk anywhere you wish. Unfortunately, not everyone finds walking interesting. Some prefer to sit and enjoy their favorite show on TV. If you find walking boring, you can do something about this to motivate yourself to add more steps on your daily activity.
- Find a walking buddy, so you have someone you can chat with as you walk. You can invite your spouse, best friend or another family member who is also interested in getting fit. If they don’t love walking, convince them to join you for a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
- Get an MP3 player and listen to your favorite music or podcast as you walk. In this way, you will forget that you don’t love walking because you are enjoying your favorite playlist.
- Plan interesting walks on your days off. Discuss this with your walking buddy. For instance, instead of doing your usual rounds in the park, you can go trekking to enjoy new views.
- Join a walking group. Being part of an organization that is dedicated to walking is a good channel to find walking buddies and motivate you to keep moving.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is enough to keep you physically active, according to official health advice. When you do this as a habit, you will be able to maintain your weight, prevent weight gain, lift your mood and reduce your risk for diseases. If there are days when you can’t go out for a walk because of health problems or tight schedule that is fine. Just make sure to get back on track the soonest
If you want to live longer and enjoy a healthy life, keep moving. The more activity you do, the better. So, track your activities so you won’t fall into the misconception that you’ve done enough steps when you actually don’t. Pedometers are great tools to keep you moving. Some pedometer users admitted that at the end of the day when they realized that they are a hundred steps short of their 10,000-step goal; they take the time to walk just to achieve it. So, get yourself a pedometer and walk through a healthier and fitter you.