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WHY 10,000 daily steps?

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Yes it is!

I view this (walking 10,000 steps a day) as a basic requirement for good health, like drinking enough water each day. Your body is designed for movement. Many researchers are now starting to emphasise the importance of walking (low impact, low intensity) and spending less time sitting.

Let’s talk about LESS sitting to start with…

More and more research is showing that it’s not good for your health to be sitting or lying down for long periods during waking hours. Sitting is the new smoking some even say! Whatever your opinion this is however what we call “sedentary behaviour”.  And…

Sedentary behaviour is associated with increased risk of being overweight, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

So if we really want to improve our health and wellbeing, our goal has to be to reduce the time we spend sitting every day and also break up sitting time.

Some professionals say….

“Walking is a superfood. It’s the defining movement of a human.” 

And, that ….

“Regular Daily Walking Helps to Counteract the Effects of Too Much Sitting”.

We agree.

Part of what makes a goal of 10,000 steps a day so important is that it gets you up and out of your chair/car/sofa. It often gets you outside too! Sitting for too long as we have already said has been found to increase your risk of premature death from virtually all health problems from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to cancer. For example, sitting for more than 8 hours a day is associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The average office worker actually spends 9-10 hours of their day sitting!

So what about walking, physical activity and fitness …

Our bodies are built to move and to move frequently. So yes absolutely walking is a basic health requirement.

Now, if some one were to ask me (as a personal trainer of 15 years) …. Is walking alone enough to keep me fit? I would have to say – for the majority of us – NO.

Fitness and health however are two very different measures and outcomes, and also completely personalised too. For a start there are several dimensions of physical activity that are required in order for us to be fully fit and have a comprehensive training programme. See our dimensions of physcial activity to see how complete your routine is?

Dimensions of Physical Activity

Strength, balance, flexibility all need to be included!

Tick, Tick, Tick…. So you meet the guidelines for how much physical activity you do (more than 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week – plus your strength training, plus your flexibility, plus your relaxation) = RESULT. There is a chance you are heading towards your peak fitness. So… you are training hard; your body is healthy.  This will in turn impact positively on your overall wellbeing and quite possibly your quality of life too. BUT even then research still suggests this can’t counteract the effects of too much sitting.

 

To summarise;

Walking is good medicine. It may not boost your cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength significantly the way other types of activity do but it does offer other significant health physical and emotional benefits. So, YES it absolutely needs to be included into your daily routine especially if you have a sedentary role.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of daily walking:

  • A low impact way to get in shape and lose weight
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases hypertension, reducing risks for heart attacks and strokes
  • Walking daily has been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Reduces stress
  • Can improve your mental health when balanced with other positive habits
  • Increases balance and endurance
  • Slows mental decline
  • Improves the mood
  • Can act as a form of mindful meditation
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Offsets risks of sitting

In conclusion;

LESS SITTING + MORE MOVING + PHYSICAL ACTIVITY = LONGER, HEALTHIER & FITTER LIFE.

It all counts. It all matters. How much all depends on your own personal goals.

Download our 10,0000 steps a day poster here to share with your colleagues to try to get everyone more active!

If you are still unsure as to how this can impact your workplace and really make a difference simply check-out our series of Power Of Wellbeing workshops. Start to help staff feel more positive, healthier and be more active! Smooth Move is all about encouraging behaviour change – increasing physical activity for health benefits by moving more and sitting less!  Download our workshop poster here.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope you have enjoyed our post.

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Tonic - Health & Wellbeing Experts

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