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The Benefits of Walking are Underrated

The Reasons Why Women Should Strive for 10,000 Steps Per Day

Woman walking her dogIt seems that everywhere you go these days, you hear increasingly more men and women talking about the total number of steps they’ve taken that day. They’re checking their fancy wrist gadgets—pedometers, fitness trackers, smart watches—as they strike to reach what must be a magic number: 10,000 steps. Is it hype? Is it healthy? How does your body benefit from 10,000 steps? Why not 10,001 or 9,999? What makes 10,000 steps the Goldilocks of fitness goals? The truth is there is some science behind the 10,000-step goal, making it more truth than hearsay. Learn what 10k every day can do for you, and why it’s time you started counting your daily steps too.

Why 10,000 Steps?

Studies show that increasing one’s walking habit to 10,000 daily steps results in important health benefits. It’s important to keep in mind that while 10,000 is the goal most researchers suggest for the average American, if you are not active today, any increased amount of walking, stepping, or jogging will benefit your health. Still, 10,000 steps is an obtainable goal for the average adult and it’s a number that has an intrinsically motivational power over us.

Benefits of 10,000 Steps

Adults who reach 10,000 steps per day have been known to benefit from:

If 10,000 steps seems far too unobtainable based on your work or family responsibilities, know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, which may include brisk walking. The CDC’s 150 minutes translates to about 7,000 to 8,000 steps, which may feel more reasonable to some and still meets recommended health goals.

How to Reach the 10,000-Step Milestone

If you’re ready to take the 10,000-step challenge, but aren’t sure how to achieve such a lofty goal, know that the 10,000-step achievement can be reached more easily than you may think. The average adult already walks about 6,000 steps per day through normal activity. To strive for 10,000, simply begin adding extra walking sessions to your normal routine. Start by adding an extra 30 minutes of brisk walking into your day. That alone will start you off with around 8,000 steps. You can achieve your 30 minutes before work by walking your dog, by taking your kids for a walk around your neighborhood, or even getting off the subway one stop early and walking the rest of the way to your office.

Invest in a Tracker

If you’re set to take on the 10,000-step challenge, you’ll want to invest in a pedometer or fitness tracker. You don’t need the most expensive model on the market, but you will need a tool to help you keep track of your daily step progress. (Many smart phones have apps that will also track steps.)

Remember, even if after a few weeks, you find you’re struggling to reach 10,000 steps, the most important thing is that you are getting up and being active. Any improvement in your activity level is an improvement for your health and wellbeing. If you have any questions regarding the amount of exercise you should be receiving, talk to your doctor.

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