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Is Walking 10,000 Steps Every Day the Right Fitness Goal for Everybody?

If you own a smartwatch, then you are probably privy to your smartwatch recommending you to walk 10,000 steps every day. But have you wondered why it recommends us to walk at least 10,000 steps?

Aarushi Chadha
Walking 10,000 steps every day is not equally beneficial for all body types, here's why.

As our life becomes more sedentary because of the automation of work, getting a healthy amount of physical movement has become a necessity for healthy bodily functioning. Walking is a form of exercise that is accessible, affordable, and available to most people. To walk, you don’t need special equipment and gear other than supportive walking shoes.

It might not seem like much but walking has several health benefits as it is a weight-bearing exercise. Regular walking increases cardiovascular fitness, improves the management of conditions like muscular pain or stiffness, increases muscle strength and endurance, and results in reduced body fat.

Plus, in order to walk you don’t have to visit a special place as it can be incorporated into other activities. For instance, instead of taking the lift or escalators, walk up a couple of flights of stairs to get to your destination. You can park your car a little far away from your destination or get off public transport at least one stop before your usual shops. Also, don’t drive to the local shop and take the responsibility of walking your dog or a neighbor’s dog.

Can walking 10,000 steps a day be considered an optimal workout?

When we talk about the number of steps walked, we talk about the number of calories burnt. The number of steps required to be walked by a person who wishes to lose weight may differ from the number of steps a person needs to walk to maintain their weight and incorporate exercise into their lifestyle.

So, walking 10,000 steps every day is not equally beneficial for all body types. Therefore, 10,000 steps a day isn’t the optimal number of steps a person needs to walk. However, it is a good indicator of how much activity a person is achieving in a day. It was originally a way to get people motivated about moving and exercising. Keeping this in mind, 10,000 steps a day is still a fair amount of activity to stay active.

How we walk our daily goal can also play a great role in deciding whether we are getting enough exercise. For instance, there are people who can walk 10,000 steps every day by just finishing their daily chores but the speed at which they attain their daily step goal may not be intense enough. Walking at a brisk to fast pace helps us sweat, increase our heart rate, and stretch our muscles.

Health Benefits of Walking 10,000 Steps per Day:

Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases- Walking at least 10,000 steps a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases as it improves blood pressure and stabilizes blood glucose levels. By becoming active, we use up the stored fat and sugar in our body to convert it into energy, thereby stabilizing blood sugar levels. Walking 10,000 steps a day also helps remove the stored cholesterol in our veins by burning it for energy. This helps the heart pump blood with less effort and this stabilizes our blood pressure.

Decreases risk of developing mood disorders- Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are linked with less exercise, poor quality of sleep, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, going to the park for a walk, even if it is only for half an hour, promotes a better mood by helping the person get in touch with nature and meet new people, whilst simultaneously exercising.

Improves sleep- Exercising is essential for a proper night’s sleep. This is because exercising helps us get rid of excessive energy in our body and makes us tired.

Promotes weight loss- Walking at a brisk or fast pace helps us burn calories to lose weight.

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