You’ve probably heard of the recommended 10,000 steps a day concept. Highly popularized as a default goal in smartwatches, smartphone apps, and wellness programs for improved health and weight loss. This number might be overwhelming especially if you just started walking however before you throw away the idea here are some interesting facts about what walking 10,000 steps a day can do for you.
Myth or Fact
The 10,000 steps-a-day theory- often billed as the minimum for good health, originated in marketing, not medicine, when a Japanese company launched a pedometer in 1965 named, in English, the “10,000-step meter” with the slogan “Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day.”
Realistically walking 10k a day is quite challenging especially for beginners because that’s approximately five miles or about eight kilometers, or an hour and 40 minutes of walking, depending on your stride length and walking speed.
So Unless you have an active job, it is difficult to log in 10,000 steps with daily activity only. Indeed it’s an arbitrary number, but the saying ” the more the better” comes to mind because an increase in physical activity such as your step count reduces your risk of death by improving your health. The benefits are simply innumerable.
Recent research at the University of Texas has demonstrated that if you’re walking fewer than 5,000 steps a day, your body is less able to metabolize fat the following day. While research from Harvard Medical School has shown that, compared to walking 2,700 steps a day a 4,400 daily step count can significantly lower the risk of death in women. Both studies have shown that the more steps people walk, the lower their risk of diseases and death.
The One Size Fits All Theory
There is no such thing as a “one size, fits all” when it comes to Fitness. Physical activity doesn’t look the same for everyone, we all have different body types, dietary needs, metabolism, or health restrictions.
Even our location, financial capabilities, habits, and work schedule, affect the choice of fitness activities that we do. The good thing is that walking can be done by almost everyone, anywhere, anytime. The only difference is how fast or slow, how long or short we do this activity.
As a general rule the more steps the better, 10,000 steps might be steep for some but who said you can’t start building the habit of walking up to 10k? If you are determined to walk daily, consistent baby steps are the key.
Every Journey Begins With A First Step – Make It Count!
There is no question that there are enormous health benefits to increasing your activity level through moderate exercises like walking. Why walking? Walking is easy to do and good for you, too. Not only do you get the benefits of weight management and better cardiovascular health, but you’ll also sleep better and feel less stressed.
Research has shown that walking improves your cardiovascular health, cholesterol level, fitness ability, and many others contributing to healthy living. This shows that any effort of physical activity can positively impact your health, so taking regular breaks to move around if you’re working at a desk all day will help. Read here about Intermittent Exercise.
The Benefits of Walking
A good walk can do wonders for your mental well-being. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Regular physical activity, such as walking 10,000 steps a day, leads to lower glucose and insulin response after a meal. This is important for managing or reducing the risk of diabetes.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Bodies are designed to move, and the consequence of not moving them enough often comes in the form of poor health outcomes. When you walk more, say 10,000 steps rather than the typical average of 3,000 to 4,000, you are effectively improving your cardiovascular health. That means less risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Walking is also good for toning your whole body. Your legs and glutes get a good workout and if you move your arms as you walk, that’s an added benefit.
Eat less, move more is the age-old formula for weight loss – walking is one way to achieve that goal.
Burning the Calories -10,000 Steps
Any estimation of how many calories you burn from an exercise like walking or running depends on your weight. On average, heavier people use more energy to move than lighter people. Most rough estimates revolve around 100 calories burned per mile for a 180-pound person.
Some claim that individuals can lose a pound of fat a week just by walking 10,000 steps a day. A general rule of thumb is that a pound of fat contains around 3,500 calories. If you create an average caloric deficit of 500 calories over 7 days, that’s equal to 3,500 calories. Not bad for a pound of weight loss per week.
Speed is Important
Before you decide to put in the distance and time, do not forget about speed. Even if you are in that 180-pound range, the calories you burn from walking depend on the intensity, or speed, of your walk. The average walking speed is about 3 miles per hour and according to the Mayo Clinic, the number of calories you’ll burn depends on your walking speed.
Why? It’s simple—the faster the pace, the greater your heart rate, and the more calories you can burn covering the same distance. Fitness trackers and step counters will help monitor your progress.
Nevertheless, before you start any fitness goal like walking 10,000 steps, take a minute to understand what you’re embarking on. Remember the old Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Make sure each step, from the first to the 10,000th and onwards has a purpose”.
If your plan to start this journey, take baby steps and check out this post to get you started START YOUR DAY RIGHT WITH THE MIRACLE MORNING ROUTINE