Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The 10,000-Step Goal: Help or Hype?

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Here’s why the world seems fixated on 10,000 steps. (There’s good reasons!) …

Studies Prove the Benefits

With 400,000 annual deaths in our society blamed on poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, increasing physical activity—by any amount of steps—can only help. The magic 10,000 originated in Japan in the 1960s. The theory was based on research that proved men who burned at least 2,000 calories weekly through exercise had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This translates into burning about 300 calories daily, which usually can be accomplished by walking 10,000 steps.

Since then, extensive research has further supported this finding. Manufacturers have capitalized on the 10,000-step goal, creating trendy accessories and wearables to track steps, along with calories, heart rate, and even sleep. Today, everyone from school kids to grandparents seems to be tracking their steps.

What Can 10,000 Get You?

Studies prove reaching the 10,000-step goal is well worth it. Study participants who met or exceeded this goal tended to have:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better cardiovascular fitness
  • Lower blood glucose levels
  • Decreased risk of diabetes
  • Healthier weight

Motivating Fact: Walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by 31 percent. Keep that blood flowing! Adding more movement, in general, to your daily routine benefits your joints, body-weight management, posture, and mental health—along with its cardio perks.

How Far Will You Go?

It pays to keep track.

10,000 steps translates into walking about five miles a day. This helps achieve the recommended minimum activity requirements for healthy individuals.

Wearing a pedometer or other tracking device does prove helpful in the quest for 10,000. In one study, those who were able to monitor their steps tended to walk an additional mile per day. They also took more daily steps than they did prior to the study when they didn’t wear a tracker. It seems the tracker acts as an accountability partner or motivator. And the 10,000 gives specific purpose.

Will You Lose Weight?

Walking can accelerate weight loss goals. However, a typical walk at a decent pace—even 10,000 steps worth—won’t likely shed the pounds. It goes a long way in helping weight loss goals. It also helps maintain a steady weight, which is great if you are at a happy, healthy spot on the scale. Reaching 10,000 steps daily can complement your fitness routine, making weight loss and fitness goals reachable in less time and with less effort.

10K steps toward healthier choices.

With 10,000 steps under your belt, you are proactive in your healthy lifestyle endeavors. Although it may not shrink your waist by itself, it increases your stamina, helps you tone, and boosts your likelihood of making additional healthy choices throughout the day.

Accomplishing a daily 10,000 advances your fitness level, which in turn maximizes your results on the Fitness Floor, in the studio, and in the pool. The 10,000-step goal focuses on physical movement to complement your daily formal workout.

Need ideas on how to increase your daily steps? Talk with a personal trainer. S/he can share fun, different ways to step it up!

Give movement to your fitness goals by adding movement to your life. Try for at least 10,000, but every step counts!

 

Sources

“Pedometers Proven to Increase Exercise,” by Wendy Bumgardner at verywell.com.

“Should You Be Aiming for 10,000 Steps a Day?” by Barbara Brody at cnn.com.

“Walking 10,000 Steps a Day Toward Better Health,” by Thomas Trojian at philly.com.

Image Credits

Steps (introductory photo): pixabay.com/en/fashion-man-beach-holiday-vacation-1283944

Fitness trackers: pixabay.com/en/heart-rate-monitoring-device-1903997

Salad: pixabay.com/en/salad-mixed-salad-raw-food-healthy-2049563

Weightlifting: pixabay.com/en/weights-lifting-power-training-gym-817635

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