We’ve crossed the halfway mark in our 60-day challenge! In this week’s blog post, we’ll be answering a popular question that we’re all eager to know: why is it so important to get 10,000 steps per day?!
In the age of FitBits and Apple Watches, counting our steps has become a bit of a hobby among active people. It’s pretty exciting to check your step count after a particularly mobile day or even compete with others to get the highest steps each week. It may come as a surprise to know that the ‘10,000 steps per day’ trend was actually an arbitrary number promoted as a Japanese fitness challenge! Crazy right?! Despite this, the CDC recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which works out to about 7,500-10,000 steps per day.
Walking is a great way to nourish every system in your body and hitting your 10,000 steps can be another step to achieving optimal health. Are you ready to learn five astonishing benefits that you can get by hitting your daily step count?! Here you go!
Boosts Your Heart Health
Walking 10,000 steps per day is a great way to strengthen your heart and prevent heart disease!
When you pound the pavement, you are more likely to have better heart health than those who skip their daily walks. Since walking is a cardiovascular exercise it means that it strengthens the heart by elevating your heart rate. Regular cardio workouts are important for preventing and managing high blood pressure and help increase your stroke volume, which is the amount of blood that your heart pumps per beat. People who walk 10,000 steps a day are known to have a higher stroke volume, which can reduce the stiffness of your blood vessels and allow your heart to pump blood more easily, which is great news right!
Lowers Your Risk for Chronic Disease
You can prevent chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and osteoporosis, as you go for your daily stroll.
Going for a daily walk may seem like a small effort, but it can create a large impact on your risk for developing chronic diseases later in life. One of the major causes of chronic disease is lack of exercise. When paired with other healthy habits, going for daily walks has been shown to dramatically decrease your risk of developing illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Walking not only prevents metabolic disorders, but it can also strengthen your bones. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and running, help improve your bone density, which can prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Slims You Down
Watch your waistline go down as your step count goes up!
If you think your daily walks don’t make a difference for your weight loss goals…think again! In 2017, a study showed that walking 10,000 steps per day is as effective for weight loss as five 30-minute workouts per week. You can burn as many as 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps, which means that you could lose a pound per week just by stomping it out!
Walking won’t just help you shed pounds; it will also change the way that your body utilizes the calories you eat. Studies have shown that people who walk 10,000 steps per day are more likely to store the calories in easily accessible energy stores while sedentary people are more likely to store calories in the liver or fat stores. In addition, walkers are better able to handle periods of indulgence (like holidays) without gaining as much weight as non-walkers.
Brightens Your Mood
Going for a daily walk can help brighten your mood and make you more calm throughout your day.
There is a lot of evidence that walking is good for your body, but did you know that it’s also good for your mind? If you’re getting your steps outside, the sunshine will play an enormous role on your brain chemistry and mood. Natural light has been proven to promote the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is related to feelings of happiness and calmness. Physical activity is also known to boost serotonin in the brain, which means that you are getting a double dose of nature’s chill pill!
Reinforces Healthy Habits for Life
You may not know this, but willpower is actually a muscle that you can strengthen! Willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to reach long-term goals. Over the years, psychologists have discovered that people who regularly practice willpower are better able to resist temptations when they crop up. By lacing up your sneakers and getting your steps in each day even when you don’t feel like it, you are strengthening your power of will. You are committing to a healthy habit, which can create a snowball effect with other healthy habits. Grab a friend and hit the 10K step challenge today!