Do You Really Need To Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day?
Walking has always been one of the best exercises for everyone. It’s one of the only exercises that can be performed anytime, anywhere, and by anyone. You don’t require exceptional athletic ability in order to take a walk.
However, today’s question is whether you need to walk 10,000 steps per day.
Walking is great, everyone agrees on that, but should it include 10,000 steps in order to be effective. We live in times where there’s a bunch of pseudoscience and myths surrounding health and fitness in general. So, is this just a myth or something legit?
In this blog, we will give you a comprehensive solution. Keep reading on!
What does the research say?
When it comes to health and fitness, it seems that everyone has their own theories and arbitrary numbers. But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any objectivity in this domain. Many types of research and studies have been conducted on how many steps are effective for being fit.
Overall, the studies show a positive correlation between the number of steps a person takes throughout the day and their health. For instance, a 2018 study found that walking 10,000 steps helped people reduce their diabetes risk and increase their mental and heart health. This explains why so many people have stuck with the 10,000 number.
But the question is whether we really need to walk 10,000 steps. While studies like the above one indicate the many benefits of walking 10,000 steps, there are studies that have shown that you can keep yourself in good shape by taking considerably fewer steps throughout the day.
For instance, this study from Harvard Medical School has shown that women, on average, can significantly lower their risk of death by taking 4,400 steps throughout a day. The study compared this with 2,700 steps. There was a huge difference in benefits that people received by increasing their steps.
The study showed that the more steps people took, the lower their risk of dying became. The benefits leveled off at 7,500 steps. It turns out that after the 7,500 mark, no additional benefits were received. Though it’s unknown whether the exact applies for men, this study certainly says a lot about the number of steps you really need throughout a day.
How many steps do you actually need per day?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise every week. This doesn’t mean that low-intensity exercise doesn’t have its place in your daily routine. Research suggests that you can dramatically improve your health by doing low-intensity exercise every day.
Obviously, the number of steps you take per day can not be used to replace your exercise routine. However, they still greatly contribute to your physical activity and fitness. People who go to the gym with the goal of burning fat and losing weight can greatly benefit by increasing the steps they take per day.
So, how many steps a person needs in order to stay healthy? To answer that, let’s look at some more studies. According to a recent study at the University of Texas, if you’re walking fewer than 5,000 steps a day, then your body’s ability to metabolize fat will be affected. People who walk less will metabolize less fat.
If fat too much fat is allowed to develop in a person’s body, the chances of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes increases. The city cited above further demonstrates that people who walk less than 4,000 steps a day are not doing any better than those walking 5,000 steps a day.
Now, keeping all the above studies in mind, one should aspire to walk at least 5000 steps a day. Of course, if you are not used to walking that much, then it will be a sudden increase and we don’t want that. You should incrementally increase your steps at your convenience.
So, if you are walking 4000 steps a day, then you can start by adding 500 steps every week. If you feel confident in yourself, you can increase your daily steps by 1000 or even 2000 as well. Keep in mind that this is different for everyone.
The number of necessary steps required for a person can vary depending on their daily routine. If a person is already getting enough exercise every day, they probably don’t need to walk that far. However, if walking is your only exercise of the day, then you should aim for 5000 steps every day.
Benefits of walking
There are multiple benefits of walking. That’s why you should consider increasing your steps per day. Here are the main benefits of walking every day.
1. Mitigating laziness
Research suggests that daily physical activity such as walking can mitigate the effects of sitting down for too long. According to research, people who spend their time sitting for eight or more than eight hours had a 59% increased risk of death compared to those who got enough physical activity every day.
2. Reduced risk of complications
Increased physical activity such as walking can help you reduce your chances of developing certain complications and diseases such as cancer and dementia. It can improve your overall health by helping you reduce the level of fat you store in your body. This will allow you to lower the risk of diabetes as well.
While it’s true that 10,000 steps per day have a lot of benefits for people, you don’t necessarily have to stick to this large number. You can still maintain good health by walking 5000 steps a day. Walking for an extended period of time will allow you to improve your mental and physical health.
If you can’t walk 5000 steps per day, then you should start by walking fewer steps and increasing the count per week or per month. If walking is your only physical activity, then you should especially aspire to walk at least 5000 steps every day.