So, you've all heard the whispers from fitness professionals and enthusiasts about the mystical 10,000 steps a day as the golden key to health. But where did this magical number come from? Why are we all so fixated on hitting it? And what are the major benefits? Let’s explore
WHERE DID IT START?
The 10,000 steps target originated from a Japanese pedometer company named "Manpo-kei" in 1965, as a marketing tool. Some argue that walking 20,000 steps a day is the target however, the science doesn't necessarily support this specific number.
WHY 10,000 STEPS?
Experts suggest aiming for a more achievable goal like 10,000 steps, to prevent demoralization. Studies suggest that fewer steps may still be effective and beneficial. Stating walking around 3,967 steps daily reduces the risk of death from any cause, while 2,337 steps lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study found that around 8,900 steps per day, may slow cognitive decline and brain volume loss in those at high risk.
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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
This widely accepted standard of taking 10,000 steps is believed to enhance cardiovascular fitness, aid in weight management, boost mood, sleep, and cognitive function. Walking can also lower the risk of chronic illnesses like dementia and certain cancers, and even improve conditions like Type II diabetes.
Research indicates that the benefits plateau around 7,500-8,500 steps. To support your health, consider aiming for at least 7,000 steps a day, breaking up sitting time whenever possible. Prioritize being active overall, meeting the World Health Organization's recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly and perform at least two muscle-strengthening sessions. It's not just about steps but incorporating regular physical activity into your routine.
Finding the right balance in daily steps is crucial for maintaining good health. While the 10,000 steps guideline has become popular, it's essential to understand that the benefits of walking extend beyond a specific number. Whether you reach 3,000 or 10,000 steps, the key is to STAY ACTIVE. So, lace up those shoes, focus on being active, and make choices that promote a healthier and more energetic lifestyle. Remember to consult a health professional before you embark on any fitness journey.
Emmanuel Ofori - eMotivates
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Fitness Professional