10k steps – why does walking 10k a day help me?
By Emily Rutherford
Humans as a species were made to move and move frequently
If you’re going to the gym every day, you have a head-start over the average person, bravo! But if your health is important to you, you should be moving even more than that.
1 hour out of 24 hours isn’t enough
Your hour at the gym is one hour out of 24, and when I say species as humans as a species were designed to move, I don’t mean we were designed to get one workout in. We were designed to spend the day walking, squatting, reaching, pulling, climbing, and more. In this day and age most of us can’t do that all day, but we can definitely increase our steps which goes a long way to improving our mental and physical health.
More Walking/activity the better
Any research you read will say that moving more is a good thing and will help to improve your health. In fact, research has found that women who averaged 4,400 steps per day had a 41 percent lower mortality rate than sedentary women who averaged 2,700 daily steps. Mortality rates were progressively lower with more steps taken before tapering off at 7,500 steps per day — that’s 25 percent fewer steps than the common goal of 10,000 steps or 10k a day.
Walking to lose body fat
Walking is also an effective way to lose body fat. As Crossfitters we often overlook how powerful something as simple and unstrenuous as brisk walking can be. But with a daily 30 minute brisk walk you can burn anywhere from an extra 100 to 200 cal a day. Add that up over the week, and that’s 500 to 1000 cal that you just burned. Because walking is low impact it’s an activity you can easily do on a rest day. In fact, the increased blood flow will help you to recover faster from the more strenuous workouts you do in the gym.
Does it have to be 10k?
When I’m working with someone to improve their health I like to set the goal of 10,000 steps. Yes, it is an arbitrary number. Most likely this number was part of a marketing campaign for one of the original step counters that was named the 10,000 steps meter. So why push for 10,000 steps? As you’ve heard me say before having a specific goal is important. That way you know for sure that you’re walking more than you used to. You also know exactly when you hit that goal. On top of that, it’s a goal that most people have to push themselves for, some more than ours. Lastly, I’ve personally noticed a powerful difference when I hit 10,000 steps consistently. It allows me to add much more balance to my lifestyle choices and I am a much healthier and happier individual.
Get outside and get moving!