Why 10,000 steps?

Author: Dr. Gary Huber, DO

Date: Jul, 2015

We strongly recommend the daily habit of setting a mindful goal to get 10,000 walking steps per day and with good reason...

We strongly recommend the daily habit of setting a mindful goal to get 10,000 walking steps per day and with good reason:

  1.  It is easy to do and nearly everyone can accomplish this goal safely.
  2.  It's a Great Motivator to start the day with a simple target to shoot for.
  3.  Short term: After only 8 weeks of 10,000 steps/day, blood glucose levels improved considerably
  4.  Long term: After 6 months of 10,000 steps/day, a drop in 11 mmHg systolic blood pressure was noted, in addition to significant weight loss
  5.  It can be easily monitored with your Fit-Bit or simple pedometer.
    • There are even Apps you can put on your phone but I don't recommend keeping your phone on your hip all day (radiation) so not your best bet.

Most Americans only get 5,000-6,000 steps/day in their usual activities thus leaving a gap of 4,000 to 5,000 steps to make up. How?  Well there are roughly 2,000 steps in a mile so planning to go for a 2 mile walk would meet the need. How long this takes depends on your pace but a relatively modest pace will lead to a mile being covered in about 20 minutes.

Other solutions include healthy choices like:

  • Parking at the far end of the parking lot every time you go somewhere. This may also reduce the number of door dings you experience.
  • Take the steps ALL the time. Even at the airport, be different, be active.
  • Get up from your sedentary desk job and make a point to walk outside for 2 minutes or even just around the office.

Walking is the gateway into a world of enjoyable exercise. Exercise lifts your mood and lowers your blood markers. It guides you to better sleep and lowers cortisol (stress). So become addicted to something that doesn't come from a bakery, get addicted to walking your 10,000 steps each day and enjoy the reward.