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Ask The Trainer:"What's the significance of 10,000 steps?"

Apr 9, 2019

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

Everyone has heard about getting in your steps everyday. And even more specific everyone has heard that getting 10,000 steps daily is now the new norm. But why? What is the significance of taking 10,000 steps daily? It has been assumed that by taking 10,000 steps daily you are burning enough calories to lose one pound of fat per week. However those claims are based on simple math and not taking into account that each individual is different. So what is the true purpose of the 10,000 step rule? The fact is by taking that many steps daily you are averaging about 5 miles per day, which is a significant distance in terms of cardiovascular health. Depending on the speed or intensity of those steps you can in theory burn a good amount of calories per day that could eventually lead to fat loss. There are other more important benefits to taking those 10,000 steps. They can help in strengthening your heart, you can store less body fat and stabilize your blood sugar because glucose and insulin response is lower in an individual who is this active. And most importantly it can create better health habits because it now becomes a routine that if done on a consistent basis will produce healthy results. So next time you decide to make a goal of 10,000 steps a day, remember why you are doing it and keep track of your progress.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
Counting your steps in recent years has become quite the fad. Step counters like Fitbit and your iPhone have set a 10,000 step goal for every person, but why? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends each individual to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week which is about 30 minutes of walking per day. Now keep in mind, this is the minimum requirement of daily exercise. When it comes to exercise and fitness, we know that each person’s exercise activity should relate to their fitness goals. The goal is 10,000 is a good one to have as it can help strengthen your heart, stabilize blood sugar and reinforce healthy habits but you should strive to do more if you have other specific goals to reach.

Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT

It's hard to pinpoint the origin of 10,000 steps a day but it's popularity has been increasing over the last few years. The purpose is to encourage people to move more to improve overall health. Some studies have shown those who walked an average of the 10,000 steps a day can reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. It is the equivalent to walking 5 miles a day which can pay large dividends for people with a more sedentary lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. To meet that requirement one would need to walk roughly 8,000 steps a day. By getting in your 10,000 steps you are meeting the minimum exercise requirement as well reducing your chances of Heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Nikki Davis

The whole 10,000 step, exercise protocol originated in Japan in the1960’s with the use of pedometers because it is a useful tool for tracking. In the same way, it would be helpful to have a Fitbit or some step tracking device. This became popularized because there were direct correlations according to CDC and different university health studies for decreasing chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, depression. It may be daunting to think about setting aside time in your day for cardio 30-40min a day but this tracking tool may be an easier way of attaining your goals. Simply by moving 5-10min every hour at work, especially if you have a very sedentary job. Options for fitting in more walking may include, scheduling your walk around work or home, parking further away in a parking lot, taking the stairs, walking your dog.The average person walks 1.5-2miles which is 3,000-4,000 steps. Maybe 10,000 steps is too lofty of a goal at first, so start around 4,000 and build each week by 500.


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