If you buy a smart pedometer or fitness tracker like a Fitbit, chances are the device will encourage you to take 10,000 steps a day. But do you really have to walk this much to be healthy?
Experts say that while 10,000 steps a day is a good number to reach, any amount of activity beyond what you’re currently doing will likely benefit your health. Studies conducted since then suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits. One study found that women who increased their step count to nearly 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the agency recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, such as brisk walking. To meet the CDC’s recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. If you normally walk about 5,000 steps a day, getting in an extra 30-minute, brisk walk into your day would take you to about 8,000 steps. The average U.S. adult walks about 5,900 steps daily.
Still, there’s no reason to stop at 8,000 steps if you can do more. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people using pedometers first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps. There’s not a single strategy to increase your step count, each person has to find what works for them. The most important thing is to increase your activity beyond what you were doing before.
We just want people to get up, and get started and any amount of activity that you can do today that you didn’t do yesterday, you’re probably going to start benefiting from it.
Source: Live Science & Flatonia Folk Wellness Co. Bootcamp #RockinNRollin #Summer2014 #healthylifestylechallenge (Maria & Cindy getting a few extra steps in before bootcamp!)