Hey Friends! Have you put in your 10,000 steps for the day (equivalent to almost 5 miles)? Have you ever wondered where the 10,000 steps actually came from? ME TOO! So I did some research.
This is where the lucky number 10,000 came from. When Japan was preparing to host the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the general Japanese population caught the “health bug”. They were aware of the health benefits of regular exercise to help fight off chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and stroke. The simplest way to exercise was to walk and wouldn’t you know a modern pedometer was introduced at roughly the same time! Coincidence? I think NOT!
People began tracking how many steps they were walking each day with this handy-dandy pedometer worn around the waist. Manpo-kei, which means 10,000 steps in the Japanese language became the slogan for the Japanese walkers. (You are welcome for your daily history lesson!)
The short answer is YOU BETCH YOUR BOTTOM IT DOES! Many research studies support that getting physical activity (of any kind) when paired with other lifestyle behaviors (eating more whole, nutritious foods, less stress, sleeping more), does decrease your risk for chronic disease IF done regularly.
You know me, I am super excited if anyone gets up and starts moving their body! Our bodies were made to move and not sit all day.
Now herein lies the question.
The Answer….IT DEPENDS (don’t you just hate that answer)
While walking can help get the blood flowing and increase your heart rate (especially if you are one of those speedy, hip throwing, arm swinging walkers), it doesn’t tick all the boxes.
The recommended amount of exercise according to the ACSM, an adult should participate in MODERATE intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
I want to take a moment and define what Moderate and Vigorous intensity means.
Moderate intensity is considered an intensity that burns 3-6 times the energy than sitting. This may include walking but walking briskly. You need to break a sweat and get your heart rate up,
Vigorous exercise is >6 times the energy burn than sitting. You will really be working here so think running, biking, playing basketball, CrossFitting, etc.
Now the second part of the recommendation is weight lifting at least two times a week. I would recommend more if it were me but I will take what I can get. We need to throw some heavy things around…that is that! The benefits of lifting weight are tremendous. If you want to burn more calories, look leaner, boost your metabolism, and prevent pain…lift some weight.
I wrote a handy-dandy blog post on why women should be lifting weight, take a read HERE.
Do I think you should get your 10,000 steps in? YES! But I think it should be AND not OR. Move your body and walk but also get planned exercise into your routine. I would recommend a quicker, high-intensity workout with weights myself as opposed to 5 million hours on an elliptical but that is just me.
What mode of exercise do you enjoy the most? Comment below!