I’m sure you’ve heard the advice to take 10,000 steps a day. It’s recommended for health, weight loss and management, and just all around good for you. But once I committed to this challenge, I kind of started to wonder why 10,000? I mean, where did that number come from? Why so many? Why not 8,000 or 13,500? Is there fact to support this fitness foundation?
(I don’t know about you, but knowing the back story always makes me feel more prepared to move forward. Like the whys hold the secret of success.)
Apparently there is.
I’ve done a little research. The recommendation originated in Japan, and while it might’ve been a marketing ploy to sell more pedometers (according to this), the claim made scientists world wide jump into the research to see what the magic number of steps really is. These days, 10,000 steps is considered to be the amount of steps an active person takes, and it’s recommended by the American Heart Association for heart health and lower blood pressure.
And I found this study shared by my friends at Greatist. It found that when employers gave their employees pedometers, they took more steps. And the physical activity made them healthier, happier, and more productive.
That many steps is about 5 miles, depending on stride length, which is many more than sitting on the couch will get you. It’s even more than simple day-to-day activity. That many steps ensures that you’re paying close attention to your activity levels, that you’re aware of how much you walk and how far you go, and that you are conscious of how your body is moving, feeling, and functioning.
Since watching my steps closely, I’ve realized that 10,000 steps is more than most people take. And I wasn’t taking nearly enough steps before, even if I felt like I was. But yesterday, I got so close to my goal, that I’m even more motivated and excited to get moving today.
How are you motivating yourself to get moving?