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Why 10,000 Steps?
Have you ever heard that you should be walking 10,000 steps a day? Have you ever asked why?
The reality is that many of us set an arbitrary goal of walking 10,000 steps a day without fully understanding the purpose behind it. Did you know that the concept actually originated in Japan in the 1960s as a business slogan?
Is it a good goal? Yes, but it is not best for everyone. 10,000 steps a day roughly amounts to 5 miles of walking. Certain people may find that is too lofty a goal, and some may find that it is not enough. Understanding the overarching purpose of counting steps is even more important, and can help guide you in setting your step goals.
The ultimate purpose of a step goal is to encourage movement, and moving with purpose has countless benefits. Below is a list of things you should know when setting a step goal for yourself. Start with a number that is realistic and achievable, and add roughly 10% a week to challenge yourself until you reach your goal!
What you should know:
–Counting steps is a great way to promote physical activity and accountability
-The CDC recommends a combination of 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week for adults (30 minutes a day). Children need more activity than adults.
-Brisk walking qualifies as moderate to intense physical activity
-30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity equates to roughly 3,000 to 4,000 steps.
-Walking 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day at a brisk pace helps you meet the CDC guidelines for activity.
–Brisk walking has been shown to have the following benefits:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased body fat
- Decreased risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer and colon cancer
- Reduced risk of depressed and stressed moods
- Reduced risk of falls and promotes independence in older adults
Where can you walk in West Michigan? Here is a list of places to consider.
- Mt. Pisgah Holland
- Outdoor Discovery Center: ODC Network Holland
- Pigeon Creek Park West Olive
- Saugatuck Dunes State Park Detail Saugatuck
- Rosy Mound Natural Area Grand Haven
- Grand Haven Spring Lake Trail Network
- White Lake Pathway White Hall
- Muskegon Lakeshore Trail Muskegon
- White Pine Trail Rockford
- Rogue River Trail Rockford
- Cascade Area Parks Cascade
- Millennium Park Walker
Overall, counting steps and setting goals for yourself is a great way to encourage movement. The benefits of purposeful movement affect us emotionally and physically. Set a realistic goal for yourself and begin moving towards that movement goal. The bottom line is that we all need to move, and that walking for at least 30 minutes a day is all one needs to do to begin reaping the benefits of exercise!