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Why 10,000 Steps?

Why 10,000 Steps?

Erin Mellinger

     It seems like everybody now has a Fitbit or some other type of pedometer and in my opinion these gadgets are great! They help hold people accountable to moving around as opposed to sitting all day.  But why is a goal of 10,000 steps important?  Is it really going to help me lose weight? Actually, getting 10,000 steps is very important but often times misinterpreted.

    The majority of Americans are very inactive; getting less that 5,000 steps a day.  It really shouldn’t be that hard to achieve 5,000 steps in one day. It should be achieved through everyday things such as walking to the car, grocery shopping, and other common activities..  

    So 10,000 steps is a good recommendation to help us get enough movement in a day and lessen the amount of time we sit. But increasing your steps in a day is meant to promote more movement, not a substitution for exercise.  I hear people say all the time they got their 10,000 steps in so they are good for the day.  This frustrates me for several reasons but the main one being those steps could have been slow and not require enough effort to maintain or make gains in your fitness levels.  There is a difference between walking just to get steps and actually trying to do active minutes.  

     Think about it:  You can do 10,000 steps by doing simple tasks such as walking to the water cooler, or a leisure walk with the dog.  You may be walking more and sitting less which is great, but you may not be elevating your heart rate to see heart health benefits, or moving at intensity to see substantial calories burned.

    Remember, when you exercise you are working at a higher intensity so your heart rate is elevated to levels that are strengthening your heart. When you do exercises such as pushups and bicep curls the purpose of that is to strengthen your chest and bicep muscles right? If you just did 10 pushups every day or 10 bicep curls with 5lbs you would never get stronger. Your heart is the same way.  If we just take 10,000 steps but never push our heart rate, our heart will never get stronger.  So if you’re looking for better stamina, better sleep and a more efficient body, then just doing 10,000 steps isn’t going to cut it.

    Although 10,000 steps is a good a great way to help you be more active, you need to set aside time every day for some high exertion exercises to get your heart and body stronger and more fit.  

For more information on great ways to stay active as well as guidance and accountability on a more structured exercise routine, call us at 330-952-0833 or CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A FREE TRIAL