Spend any time at all looking into the benefits of walking and you’ll be amazed at what the evidence suggests.
The more I looked around to find out how much you should walk to get those benefits, the more I began to see walking’s magic number everywhere I went.
10,000 steps a day.
There seems to be a bit of a revolution going on out there that says walking 10,000 steps a day is an ideal goal for the number of daily steps you should take to maintain good health.
According to the National Institute of Aging, “inactive” people take an average of 2,000 to 5,000 steps a day.
What does the “inactive” group look like? It’s pretty ordinary. You work in an office at a desk with a computer. There’s a short walk from your car to your office. You come home and move about the house the way most people do with maybe a couple side trips to the store.
The Institute recommends that those in the inactive group try to increase their number of steps into the 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day range by adding 1,000 steps a day each week.
If you’re in the 15,000 step range, you can proudly proclaim yourself in the high-activity group.
What will I get if I work my way into the 10,000 steps a day club? The claims are impressive! For starters, you’ll burn 20 percent of your caloric intake for that day. Other possible benefits include:
Once you buy in to the idea of setting a personal goal of walking 10,000 steps a day, there’s just one teeny problem…keeping track of your steps. You can measure distances you walk and calculate your steps, but you’ll probably drive yourself crazy. The answer is simpler than you think…it’s a pedometer. You can purchase one for around $25, and just like other devices, you can spend a lot more for better quality and increased accuracy, if that’s important to you. The great thing about pedometers is that they not only provide an easy way for you to measure your steps, track progress and meet your goals but, studies also show that using a pedometer actually motivates people to increase their progress and get better health results.
If you’re working from the “inactive” group to reach 10,000 - and maybe eventually even 15,000 - steps a day, you may experience some discomfort while your body becomes adjusted to the increase in your daily exercise. Along with ensuring that you have appropriately stretched your muscles before any exercise and remaining hydrated, a simple 20-minute dip in your hot tub can help to alleviate any strain or stress your sore muscles feel after any added workouts.