Get 10,000 Steps Daily


Are 10,000 steps a day the magic number for health?

Many people have heard that you should walk 10,000 steps a day for optimal health and as a result, they fastidiously monitor their progress toward this goal daily via fitness trackers. But the 10,000 number first became the goal back when Japan was getting ready to host the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

As the country prepared for the Olympics, there was an increased awareness of fitness and exercise in the general population to fight lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. At about the same time, the modern pedometer—an easy-to-clip-on gadget that calculated the number of steps walked—was introduced to Japanese consumers.

The manufacturer called the pedometer manpo-kei, Japanese for 10,000-step meter.

Since walking is the simplest form of exercise—it doesn’t require special equipment or training and is something most traditionally abled people do already and can do anywhere, walking and being able to track how many steps you took in a day became a focus for the health conscious. Not only was manpo-kei the name for the new pedometers, but it also became the mantra for dedicated Japanese walkers and those in walking clubs where 10,000 was the minimum number of steps to achieve each day.

Since then, many from healthcare professionals to health coaches and fitness gurus across the world adopted the 10,000 number as the walking goal for most people to achieve each day. Studies reveal there’s nothing magical about 10,000 steps a day and a  recent study found that for older women walking 4,000 to 7,500 steps a day had health benefits. Fitness goals need to be customized to the needs of an individual, but consensus remains that regular physical activity whether it’s  Pilates or walking is definitely good for your health.

Health benefits of walking

There are many health benefits to walking, including:

  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Stronger bones
  • Improved muscle strength
  • Reduced body fat
  • Improved balance
  • Walking can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis   
  • Since walking is low-impact and can be done at your own pace, it’s great for most everyone.

How many steps are right for you?

Fitness trackers are great to determine your baseline step goal. For some people, 6,000 steps a day will be a good goal to set and for the activity levels of others, they need to go well beyond 10,000 to push themselves to the next level. It’s important to be consistent with walking and physical activity no matter where your starting point or goal. Once you establish your starting point by tracking your steps for a week and figuring out the average steps you take per day, try to improve that number by 1,000 steps every two weeks. Once you consistently hit 10,000 steps per day, you can opt to try to achieve 15,000 per day depending on other exercises you do and your fitness goals.

Here are some ideas and tips for fitting more walking into your day:  

  • Make taking a walk a family affair. Whether it’s an after-dinner activity or a healthy swap for an afternoon movie, going on a walk or hike is good family fun.
  • Get a walking buddy. If you have someone else holding you accountable and waiting for you to take a daily walk together, it’s much more difficult to skip.
  • Instead of sending an email, walk across the office to have a face-to-face conversation with a colleague.
  • Skip the close parking spot and opt for one farther away that will help you get your steps in.
  • Walk whenever you find yourself waiting. If you’re waiting for your car’s oil change to be done or for your flight, instead of sitting down, take a walk instead.
  • Walk while you are waiting for your child’s piano lesson or soccer practice to be done.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Make walking a regular part of your routine by doing it at the same time every day.
  • Upbeat music with a good tempo can help you walk briskly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you’re looking for something to complement your walking, please call or text us at (303) 472-6743 to schedule your introductory Pilates session.