August habit: 10,000 daily steps towards health.
Taking 10,000 steps a day is a basic requirement for optimal health, like drinking adequate amounts of water each day.
In order to stay fit, you still need to exercise in addition to daily walks. I always say walking is not sufficient exercise. To me, it is more of an essential movement. For optimal health and fitness, strive for 10,000 daily steps every day in addition to a regular exercise program including high intensity training and strength training.
How can I know how many steps I take every day? In my opinion, one of the best monitors is FitBit, which tracks how many steps are taken each day and you can program it to track your walking/running distance, endurance training, strength training along with calories burnt during all these exercises. Recent research showed that wearing FitBit also helped overweight postmenopausal women increase their daily activity levels by nearly 40 minutes (789 steps) a week.
Is walking 10,000 steps really required? Yes! A recent study found that daily walking for an hour reduced the risk of stroke for men over the age of 60 by as much as one-third, and it doesn’t matter how brisk the walk was. As far as fitness goes, walking will only help you out if you are starting out extremely out of shape. Therefore, a regular exercise routine is required to stay fit. Walking is an essential maintenance activity that will allow you to be healthy into old age.
Keep this in mind: Since walking isn’t really exercise and you should be doing it every day, you don’t have to worry about being sore or wanting to give your muscles a break to recover.
According to UK’s National Health Service, the average person only walks between 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. You don’t have to walk 10,000 steps in one go; break it down as you see fit. If you work in an office environment, make sure to get up and walk around every 15-20 minutes. This will also help you take a break from the awkward office posture and allow better blood flow and a clear mind.
Want to burn more during your walks? Ordinary walking does not qualify as high intensity training, however, there is a way to turn it into one. Try high intensity interval training where you walk for 30 seconds and walk briskly or jog for another 30 seconds.
Traveling? Make sure to pack comfortable sneakers and walk as much as possible for transportation. Spending the summer in town? Strap on a pair of comfortable shoes and enjoy the sales while shopping in an air conditioned mall.
Staying active and healthy is your responsibility. It might be challenging at first to maintain a healthy habit, but taking a step each day will absolutely get you a step closer to be healthier versions of YOU!