28 Feb The Benefits Of 10,000 Steps
Stepping up to the challenge
Over the last year, we have probably walked more than we have ever done in our lifetime! You may have walked along beautiful paths, once crowded but now deserted urban areas or picturesque countryside and fields. We have probably seen and explored areas we didn’t even know existed. To be fair at times over the last year that has been the only thing to do and a good excuse to get out the house! Along with getting out of the house it has also provided a mild, simple and cost free way to exercise. It has been advised that we try to get 10,000 steps in a day and with step counters on our phones, watches and wearable fitness tech it is very easy to track just how many steps we are actually doing, but do all those steps really make a difference?
Why the number 10,000?
Manpo-kei : 10,000 step meter. This was the name of the pedometer invented by an employee of a Japanese company. Along with marketing to ride the wave of the Tokyo 1964 Olympics the pedometer sold well and the number became the ‘standard’. So why did they choose that number? It was a arbitrary number which seemed to reflect an active lifestyle.
What are the supposed benefits of 10,000 or just increasing your step count?
- Improve your heart health
- Strengthen your lungs
- May improve your mental health
- Improves your bone health
- Stabilise your blood sugar levels
- Improves your fitness
What if 10,000 is too much?
Don’t worry it is not the be all and end all. Remember the step-counter is there to only count your steps if you are cycling, swimming or at the gym doing weights and rowing then this is not factored in. The key is about increasing your current step count, going from 1,000 to 5,000 steps is still a big jump. 10,000 Steps to some may feel like climbing Mount Everest whilst to others it may merely feel like a Sunday stroll. Current health guidelines recommend 20 minutes daily of aerobic exercise this does not have to be limited to walking.
What does the research show?
As a general consensus most research shows increasing your step-count results in better health benefits. Many studies have looked at 5,000 verse 10,000 steps and all found the higher number was beneficial in a number of different ways. Only recently have people started looking at the numbers in between. One study that looked at the step numbers under 10,000, found that after 7,500 steps the benefits plateaued.
10,000 Steps a day can be a challenge but when achieved over period of time can produce noticeable benefits. Please remember though, it is best not to get too down if your not achieving that amount of steps, incremental gains in the amount of steps you are doing is more important.