10,000 Steps to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

In the 1960s, a Japanese researcher Dr. Yoshiro Hatano determined that 10,000 steps a day burn approximately 20% of daily intake of calories. It took about 30 years before his idea was adopted globally and has become extremely popular.

If you ask, why exactly ten thousand steps, fitness experts would explain that the name of Japanese pedometers of the 1960s "manpro-kei" translates as 10,000 steps.

The idea of the physical activity that easily measurable by smart devices including pedometers, fitness trackers or mobile apps, encourages and motivates inactive individuals to incorporate active lifestyle into their daily routine.

Ten thousand steps per day are the typical recommendation for healthy adults between 18 and 65 years of age. If you can do more, there is no reason to fasten yourself to 10,000 steps. If the number 10K doesn't look achievable for individuals with health problems, it makes sense to set up a more realistic daily goal, for instance, 5,000 or 7,000 steps, increasing the number of steps with time.

Activity Tracker

A few recent studies demonstrated that wearable activity trackers are popular because they are not only monitored steps and other parameters of physical activity but, also, serve as motivational and educational tools. Goal setting is included in the most fitness devices and fitness apps.

To get started, use a pedometer or a cell phone app to set your goal and count your steps during a day. If you do not have time to do all the steps at once, you can accumulate them throughout the day. Counting steps with a tracker, encourage you to get closer to your target. If free time is the issue, use some simple tricks to add extra steps to your counts:

  • Park your car farther from the entrance
  • Use the stairs instead of an elevator or an escalator
  • Walk your dog or let your dog walk you
  • Take a walk during your lunch.
10,000 steps are equal:
Walking 5 miles or 8 km
Biking 15 miles or 24 km
Swimming at a moderate pace 1 hour
Walking at a moderate pace 1 hour and 30 minutes
Aerobic exercise 40-50 minutes
Playing tennis 50 minutes
Gardening 1 hour and 20 minutes
Moving: carrying boxes 50 minutes
Light cleaning 2 hours

On average, physical activities that equal 10,000 steps burn 400 - 500 calories. The exact number depends on other parameters including the body weight, speed, and intensity of exercises.

In order to approximately determine how many calories are burned, calculate how many calories are burned in a single step and multiply by the number of steps.

English system                       Calories burn = body weight / 3500 x 10,000 steps

Metric system                         Calories burn = body weight / 1590 x 10,000 steps

Example: a person's weight is 160 pounds

160/3500 = 0.0457 calories per step

0.0457 x 10,000 = 457 calories

10,000 steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight

A lifestyle for adults might be classified by the number of steps a day.

Lifestyle Classification
Sedentary <5000
Low active 5000-7500
Somewhat active 7500-10000
Active >10000
Highly active >12500

According to different studies, a sedentary lifestyle can cause obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and early death. Regular exercises help to reduce the risk of all those diseases, improve metabolism and increase immune resistance.

Regularly following your established goal may drastically improve your health. If your goal is a weight loss, combine physical activity with reduced calorie intake. In other words, by decreasing the caloric consumption and increasing energy expenditure, you can achieve excellent and stable results.

Walking 10K steps every day equals burning 3500 calories per week or 1 lb (0.45 kg) of fat. Creating a 500 calories deficit through the diet would make a loss of 2 lb (0.9 kg) a body fat.

Increase physical activities gradually

In order to see the result, set your personal long-term goal, for instance, 10K steps. If you do not engage in regular physical activity, first of all, determine a starting point. Observe the number steps you are taking on your typical day. Start with a smaller load then gradually increase the number of steps. Add 500 steps every second or third day, until you reach your long-term goal. If you need a break, take it once a week.

A week later you will feel a burst of energy.

A month later the result will surprise you.

Highlights

 Ten thousand steps - a realistic plan even for an individual with a sedentary lifestyle

 On average walking 10,000 steps burns 400 - 500 calories

 Following the 10,000 steps plan may drastically improve your health

 Set your personal goal and schedule a long-term plan.

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