01 Mar 10,000 steps – to reach recommended activity levels
Have you ever heard that you should aim to take 10,000 steps a day? This prescription was devised in Japan in the early 1960s. Dr Yoshiro Hatano noticed that people in Japan took about 3,500 to 5,000 steps a day and recommended that if people took more steps per day, they would be healthier.
The Australian Department of Health recommends that adults get between 150 – 300 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week or 75 – 150 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Walking 10,000 steps a day equates to about 9 km a day and satisfies the minimum recommendations for physical activity. That is why 10,000 steps is recommended by organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) around the world as a good bench mark for getting adequate activity per week.
Get motivated – track your steps
A pedometer or activity tracker is a good tool to measure how many steps you take per day. I have been using the iPhone activity tracker for a few months now. Although it does not measure the steps that I walk around the house during the day, it measures all the steps I take outside when I am walking with my phone. It is a great way to get motivated to reach your goals.
When you start measuring you might be surprised, how little you move each day. American adults walk on average about 5,900 steps per day. A good way to start is to aim to walk 1,000 more steps than you average at the moment, and increase to 10,000 steps from there.
Health benefits of 10,000 steps a day
Walking has so many great health benefits. Walking for 10,000 steps a day can reduce your chances of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. Research has shown that it reduces blood sugar levels. Walking 10,000 steps a day will burn about 20 % of your calorific intake through activity.
If you really want to push yourself, you can do HIIT training when you are walking. Walk at an increased pace at an increased intensity for three minutes and then walk at your normal pace for three minutes and repeat for 30 minutes. This will help you get the most out of your exercise. However, it is not necessary. The main thing is that you are moving.
The good thing about walking is that almost anyone can do it, and it does have some amazing health benefits.
Some ways to increase the amount of steps you walk each day
– take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
– carry shopping into the house one bag at a time
– take a walk at lunch time
– go for an evening walk to catch up on the news of your family
– if you have a dog, even better! I wish I did 🙂
10,000 steps is actually quite a lot of walking. Probably about an hour or more of walking each day. It can really add up if you are walking a lot to the train or other leisure or social activities. Otherwise an evening walk can be really nice! There is something about tracking your activity. I feel as though I want to do cartwheels down the street some days.
Take every opportunity to move, and hit 10,000 steps daily!