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by Zara
25 Nov

10,000 Steps a Day: Is It Enough To Be Fit?

Walking more, whether for work or leisure, is an easy way of becoming more active – but how many steps do you really need to take?


Whether it's the latest app, the newest fitness device or an old-school pedometer, investing in a tool to monitor your steps is a great incentive to move more. But while experts decry that we should be hitting 10,000 steps a day, do you really need to walk that much to be healthy?

Today, if you pull anybody off the street – from London to New York, or Tokyo to Dubai – and ask them how many steps they should aim for per day, odds are they'll tell you 10,000. And, while studies suggest that those who stroll 10,000 steps regularly experience a host of health benefits, others propose that any amount of activity beyond what you're currently doing will likely improve your health.


So, Why Walk?

Walking is easy – we all do it, every day; most of us just don't do it enough. The great thing about walking is that you can do it anywhere and at any time, but the best bit? It's totally free.


Ready To Start?

Use an activity tracker or app to establish how many steps you take during a typical day. For the first week, record your daily steps and then use the weekly figure to establish a daily average. Then, begin to increase the number of steps you take by 500, until you regularly hit 10,000.


Why 10,000?

Walking 10,000 steps, or 4.7 mi (based on an average stride of 2.5 feet)  per day is highly recommended. Many believe the 10,000-step-day originates from Japan. Back in the 1960s, Japanese scientists determined the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day, and that by increasing their steps to 10,000, people would be healthier and thinner. The research showed that if we walked 10,000 steps a day we would be burning about 20% of our caloric intake.




The Benefits Of 10,000 Steps

  • Studies have found that those who increased their step count to 10,000 witnessed a reduction in blood pressure and improved their glucose levels.
  • The UK's National Health Service declared that for the average person, hitting the 10,000-step-a-day target could see a middle-aged person burn off as much as 400 calories.
  • Hitting your 10,000 strides could lower BMI, reduce waist size and increase your energy.
  • Studies suggest that those who walk the recommended steps are at less risk of developing Type II diabetes and heart disease. 
  • Walking 10,000 steps is the equivalent of exercising strenuously for 30 minutes – so, take your pick.


Powerful Pedometers

Fitness tracking devices and pedometers are an amazing way of monitoring your progress and keeping an eye on your daily activity. Plus, a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that using fitness trackers, with a set goal, such as 10,000 steps, could boost physical activity by a whopping 27%.


Not Hitting 10,000?

Reaching 10,000 steps is great. And there are many ways of meeting your sacred 10k goal every or almost every day. You may learn more about them here. But, if you round off your 10,000 steps by gorging on a hamburger or slurping a massive milkshake, you will still gain weight and face unpleasant problems linked with an unhealthy lifestyle. 


Now, we'll let you in on a little secret. While 10,000 steps is fun and easy to remember, it's important to understand that moving around just a little more than you do right now is great, too. So, embrace small improvements and remember to walk, jog, skip, hop, sprint or moonwalk – just keep moving.


Additional reading:

Why Buy a Fitness Tracker?

How To Choose The Right Fitness Tracker - Basic Buying Guidelines

The Best Fitness Trackers For Women

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your New Fitness Tracker

Walk This Way With inKin Top 6 Pedometer Apps


Photo Credit: Shutterstock





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