How can a target of 10,000 steps a day improve
your health and lifestyle?
Well, anything you do to avoid prolonged sitting will
benefit your health. I believe one of the healthiest
habits you can incorporate into your life is walking
10,000 steps every day.
Though not true for everything in fitness, when it
comes to walking, more is better. But, why is more
First of all, people who walk regularly decrease their
chance of a coronary event (such as heart attack or
stroke) by 31%. That's huge! In addition, studies
have proven a decreased chance of dementia, diabetes,
depression, and multiple forms of cancer.
Here are other benefits of a daily walking habit:
1. Aides in weight loss by increasing the number of
calories you burn in a day.
2. Improves your sense of well being by decreasing
production of stress hormones.
3. Improves your endurance or ability to do more
with greater ease.
4. Allows you to move into a more strenuous fitness
program more easily.
5. Improves energy reserve to independently
complete your daily activities.
6. Improves your sleep and will reset your sleep
cycle if you walk outside in the morning.
7. Improves your mental health while decreasing
anxiety and depression.
8. Ignites your creativity by having time alone with
9. Helps you solve difficult problems you may face
by clearing the cob webs in your head.
10. Improves function of your cardiovascular
system and decreases risk of disease.
So, does that list convince you that you need to make
walking a priority every day?
The next questions is, why 10,000 steps?
This seems like an arbitrary number. Well, in some
ways it is. However, I like 10,000 steps as a starting
Dependent on leg length and step length, 10,000
steps is about 5 miles. This is a doable goal for most,
but still challenging as it is a longer distance than the
average person walks each day.
It is proven that people improve a habit when they
have a specific goal to hit. Your goal can't just be
With 10,000 steps you either do it or you don't. At
the end of the day I can take pride in the fact that I
reached my goal. The fireworks that go off on my
Fit Bit screen are unusually satisfying as well.
Finally, you don't need to carve out large blocks of time
to reach this goal either.
There are many tricks to adding steps to your
- Pick a farther parking space
- Socialize on a walk instead of coffee
- Take a walk during your lunch hour
- Make a lap during a commercial break
- Walk while on the phone
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Play outside with your kids
- Take your dog for several short walks
I feel like I get the greatest benefit from a morning
walk. By starting my day this way, I am more likely
to make health choices throughout the rest of my day.
Also, I don't run out of time or energy in the evening
and feel tempted to skip a walk. In addition, it creates
energy and momentum that improve my overall daily
Do you find that you just don't want to get out
of that chair? Remind your self why you want to get
your steps in and why you want to improve your health.
Thinking about how you want to remain independent,
walk with your friends on the golf course, or be a
positive role model for your kids can be a much more
powerful motivator than "getting healthy". Improving
your golf game is like the Trojan horse for decreasing
your risk of a heart attack.
If aches, pains, or stiffness are keeping you from getting
out of bed or your chair to walk, that we can help with.
It is often an easy fix of stretches, alignment, or
orthotics that will make a walking program more
Comment below with what motivates you to move
more. What is your Trojan horse? Sharing may just
help others who are trying to find motivation to start
this new health habit.