10,000 is an arbitrary number assigned to the number of steps we should take each day for good health. It dates back to 1965, a time when a Japanese company began manufacturing pedometers. The Japanese character for 10,000 kind of resembles a man walking and so, walah! There you have it! 10,000 steps became the gold standard for how many steps you need to reach each day for good health. It originated simply as a marketing tool.
In actuality though, 10,000 steps a day turns out to be a fairly good guesstimate of what it takes to maintain a reasonable state of well being. For me, it requires about an additional hour of walking on most days. It totals out at just under 5 miles per day which is over and above what I would normally do chained to my desk for 8 1/2 hours a day at work. I walk for 15 minutes twice a day during breaks, usually with a few co-workers in tow, and for my half hour lunch break with my husband. That gets me to my 10,000 steps a day goal.
Why do I do it? Besides cultivating great relationships with my friends at work and my husband, I have deemed it necessary to keep the 100 pounds off that I worked so hard to loose. And, as we all know, as you get older, you just don’t have as much wiggle room with diet and exercise if you want to maintain a good quality of life! Walking buddies just make it more fun! My co-workers have been know to taunt oncoming groups from other departments with snowballs and fake flash the police. You never know what a 15 minute walk outdoors will lead to, right?
Here are the benefits I can personally attest to that keep me coming back for more of racking up 10,000 steps a day:
1. It keeps me centered. I always return to my desk with a better perspective on things after my walk outside.
2. My legs are toned and even the skin on my legs and feet is looking good right down to my toenails! That speaks volumes for what must be happening on the inside of my body.
3. Hitting 10,000 steps makes my old FitBit Charge HR vibrate and is good for my psyche. It always makes me smile when it vibrates and it is like a pat on the back.
4. I am off my blood pressure medication and both my heart rate and my blood pressure are well within normal range since I lost weight and starting my daily walks.
5. Walking has become easy for me. I’m faster than I used to be too. Life is just easier when you are a walker. I even do some running although everything is changed up now that we are in pandemic mode.
6. I know that walking 10,000 steps a day will be key for me for continued good health into my retirement years. It’s already known to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It super charges your immune system too and who doesn’t want that these days. Of course, engaging in a walking program will extend your life out a bit too!
So, do you want to feel better, get stronger, trim down, tone up? I would highly recommend taking up walking. Strap on a pedometer and start counting. Figure out how many steps you are taking a day now and slowly ratchet it up! Maybe you are like me. I started with a few thousand steps and an Aleve on board! LOL. Now, I’m well over 10,000 steps a day and no Aleve, no pain.
Which reminds me, pay attention to your shoes and your walking technique. I will talk more about that next week and pass on my tips for success that have worked for me.
Thank you for spending time with me. I hope you start walking if you are not already a dedicated 10,000 a day stepper!
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