Now that our phones and watches can track out steps, hitting 10,000 steps a day has become a bit of an obsession. Aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day can be a great way to motivate yourself and interrupt the time you spend sitting down. Many of us can find it difficult to find time to go on a run or attend a gym so walking throughout the day can be a great alternative. A study from 2017 found that by achieving 10,000 steps a day is just as effective as doing five thirty-minute exercises a week!
When you walk 10,000 steps a day you are putting another brick in the wall that can protect your health. Here are a few benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day.
Strengthen your Heart
Someone who gets 10,000 steps in a day will have a larger stroke volume compared to someone who walks 1,000 steps a day. This means your heart can send more oxygenated blood to your muscles – the fitter you are the easier this becomes and the harder you can work out.
Stabilise your Blood Sugar
When you are active, your muscles use more of the glucose in your bloodstream and the insulin your body produces can work more efficiently. By having surges of glucose and insulin after a meal or snack is a predictor of who is likely to develop diabetes, this can be reduced by walking 10,000 steps a day.
By completing physical you are boosting the number of hormones being released that can make you feel good. As well as this it increases blood flow to the brain which improves logical function. In addition to reducing the likelihood of you feeling stressed or anxious you are also improving your productivity, creativity, and concentration.
Improve Blood Pressure
As we touched upon before, a strong heart can pump more blood with less effort. If you heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood, then your blood pressure will decrease. High blood pressure can cause heart attacks, so it is important to keep it as low as possible.
Get More Sleep
If you find it difficult to sleep then walking 10,000 steps a day could help. Like we noted previously, by walking and keeping active you are releasing feel good hormones which can reduce stress thereby improving sleep. Being exposed to natural light each day can also promote a healthy sleep pattern.
Depending on how intensely you walk you could burn upwards of 400 calories a day by just walking 10,000 steps a day. With this exercise and a healthy diet, you could loose a pound a week. To look at it another way, 3,500 calories roughly equal one pound of fat so if you burn 200 calories a day by walking it will take you around 18 days to loose a pound.
Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get active and become healthier. The easiest way to hit 10,000 steps a day is to make it a habit. If you integrate walking into your daily errands and routines, you will hit the target without difficulty! Instead of using a lift use the stairs, leave the car behind, and walk to your destinations (where possible), walk your children to school, the list is endless of how you could slot walking into your day-to-day life.
If 10,000 steps seem unachievable for you at the moment, set your own goals. 10,000 steps could become your normal, but we understand it can be difficult to hit straight away, as long as you are moving more each day, you will hit the target in no time. The NHS recommend those who want to track their walking and set goals download the ‘Active 10’ app. This app can record every minute of walking you do, help you in setting goals and show you your achievements. What are you waiting for – take your first steps to a healthier lifestyle today!