Why 10,000 Steps Per Day?

Working out at Next Level Fitness in Irvine, CA, provides a well-rounded program and is one way to improve your health. Some people include 10,000 steps a day or use that technique as their only fitness workout. Is it beneficial? Why are 10,000 steps best and not 5,000 or 15,000? How did we arrive at that number and does it work or do you need more than just walking? There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the 10,000 steps recommendation.

How the 10,000 steps originated.

The 10,000 steps phenomenon didn’t start in a lab or with a researcher but at a marketing meeting in the 1960s. Japan was experiencing an increased focus on exercise, due to hosting the 1964 Olympics. Much of the country had taken up running and walking. Walking clubs formed and pedometers became popular to track progress. A Japanese company created a device called Manpo-kei, which translates to 10,000 steps. Ten thousand steps became the gold star baseline marker for anyone serious about walking.

Only later was the concept of 10,000 steps tested.

While the dedication to 10,000 steps may have started in Japan, it spread worldwide. The enthusiasm for this benchmark spread and only later were studies completed to check its validity. Studies show going from a sedentary lifestyle, approximately 2700 steps, to one with more activity, 4400 steps, increased longevity, reducing mortality by 41%. The mortality rate continued to decrease until it leveled at 7,500 steps per day.

It’s a good place to start.

If you can’t get to the gym or are sedentary, 10,000 steps are a good starting goal. Walking 10,000 steps is like walking approximately 4.5 miles since the average person takes 2,250 steps per mile. If you only wore the pedometer for a walk, and not throughout the day, you’d be increasing your activity level by 80 minutes a day. But you don’t. The pedometer is worn all day. For most people, it means increasing the number of steps they average daily. It’s good, but more is necessary for fitness. It takes strength, flexibility, and balance training, too. Alternate your days at the gym with 19,000 steps.

  • You can modify your walking and make it a HIIT-high intensity interval training workout. Walk a minute or two at high-intensity speed, then reduce your pace to recovery, alternating between the two.
  • Walking is a good way to start a fitness program, especially if you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle. You can increase the amount you walk by doing simple things, such as parking at the first parking spot you see and walking further. It saves on gas, too.
  • If you take a bus to work, get off at a stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way to increase your step count. Take the steps instead of the elevator for as many floors as possible.
  • You don’t have to do all the steps at once. Break it up into smaller sessions. Stand up and walk around the room for a few minutes every 55 minutes. It will help you work more efficiently and keep you healthier.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

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