Recently, we come across the tip here and there: if you can't often visit a gym – walk, preferably 10 000 steps a day. Let’s find out, where this number came from, why everyone tries to follow it and if it’s so useful for our body.
Initially, the idea that a person needs to walk 10,000 steps a day to be healthy, had no scientific backup. This figure was invented by Japanese marketers in the 1970s, shortly before the Sapporo Olympic games. At that time, one sports company released the world's first pedometers with this very figure as maximum value, but did it completely randomly. Then, this mark became so popular that millions of people around the world started to follow it.
Later, scientists really proved that people who daily overcome such a distance, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and increase the muscle tone. The norm is from 10 to 12 thousand steps, but only if your body is ready for such loads. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, but want to change it – do it gradually. Don't set an insurmountable distance, and increase it to 1000 steps per week. To avoid problems with joints, choose light shoes with a comfortable fit and do not be lazy to do morning exercises – it will help stretch and prepare the body for an active day.
Historians believe that in ancient times people walked about 19 kilometers a day. Now few people have the time and energy to do this. Moreover, you can compensate the lack of activity for short interval training, swimming and other sports.
10 000 steps are 7 or 8 kilometers; it depends on step length. For sure, they do not guarantee perfect health, but can improve your stamina and resistance to infections. However, this result can be achieved, doing other sports, so if you don't like walking, but are fond of yoga, Pilates or swimming – do what you prefer. The walk itself has no magical properties that can heal all diseases and tight up for good.
How many calories can you burn, walking 10,000 steps a day?
It’s impossible to say exactly how many calories are burned when walking 10,000 steps– it depends on many factors. First, the pace and terrain are important: if you climb the hill at a quick pace, you’ll probably lose about 7 calories. But going down, the number will immediately increase to 3.5.
A lot depends on genetics and general training of the body. It is believed that the muscles that are accustomed to daily stress – even minimal – work more efficiently, produce more heat and more active burn calories. Therefore, it is better to exercise regularly than once every six months to try to compensate for all the missed classes and drive the body into a state of stress. And, by the way, the myth that fat people, while walking, burn more calories than thin ones, has no scientific grounds, all the process is about the same.
Scientists believe that 10-12 thousand steps a day will help reduce Allergy symptoms, normalize blood pressure and glucose levels, prolong life by about 7 years, normalize sleep, reduce stress, stimulate brain activity and creativity, strengthen the musculoskeletal system and prevent many other diseases.
To walk 10,000 steps in a big city is not that easy. Subway, taxi and total lack of time leave no chance for a quiet and long walks. But, if you strongly want, you can optimize even the almost negligible resources.
To start you should love stairs. If you don't stand on escalators and don't use elevators, you can not only get closer to the sacred figure on the pedometer much faster, but also to pump up the legs and buttocks’ muscles. As they say, mix business with pleasure.
If time permits, always get off one bus stop earlier than you need. It doesn't take much time, but it will have a good effect on your health. No doubt, in winter and autumn, we don’t want to spend much time on the streets, but in summer and spring you can walk longer.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main enemies of modern man. It leads not only to problems with posture, but also to excess weight and aching joints. Experts recommend to get out of the chair every two hours and do some exercises. If you can't afford it, just walk around the office or go up stairs. This walk can clean up both body and mind: doctors believe that physical activity is good to develop creative thinking.