We have been told that we should aim for 10,000 steps per day, but where does this number really come from?
A recent report in the Guardian revealed that 10,000 steps is nothing more than a random figure, a figure chosen by a Japanese marketing campaign in the 60s that was simply stuck.
"In an effort to take advantage of the immense popularity of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, the company designed Yamasa's world's first portable pedometer, a device called Manpo-kei, which translates as & # 39; 10, 000-step meter & # 39; & # 39 ;, reported the site.
Speaking with the site, David Bassett of the University of Tennessee said at the time that the figure of 10,000 steps was not based on any type of evidence. "They thought that was a number that was an indication of an active lifestyle and that it should be healthy."
READ MORE: Is 10,000 steps a day just a made-up number?
At the time, researchers at Kyushu University concluded that the average person in Japan took about 3,500 to 5,000 steps a day, and if they had doubled it to somewhere around 10,000, there would be long-term health benefits.
And while this is true – taking 10,000 steps is better than taking 3500 steps – some experts such as personal trainer Amanda Thebe have told Global News that it is difficult for most people to achieve this goal.
"Tens of thousands of steps over a day equals about 7.2 to 8 kilometers, which is difficult to fit into your day, "she explained." For my customers who do extensive workouts in the gym that improve their strength and fitness, it's expecting them to walk 10,000 steps may be unrealistic. "
READ MORE: What is better training – Walking or running?
She adds that ordinary walking does not take into account the intensity needed to improve cardio.
"My goal for people is to make them move in a positive way every day, with or without walking."
Thebe first heard 10,000 steps a day when she read an article by David Sedaris in the New Yorker Stepping out in 2014.
"I remember that I have read [about how he] becomes addicted to his FitBit and tries to exceed his daily target of 10,000 steps, while he cleans garbage along the road and makes his daily walks in England. I realized then that people really hit the 10,000 steps-per-day craze. "
Do not fix on the number
And however tempting it sounds to take 10,000 steps a day, even as a challenge, start with something more realistic. "For those people whose only form of physical activity is running, I think that setting a goal can be really positive and create a sense of achievement. "
The best way to set a goal is to look at your lifestyle and find out how you can add more steps during your daily routine.
"If you consider that 10,000 steps require more than an hour and 40 minutes to complete, this may not be feasible at one time, "she added." But by doing a few things to add extra steps, you can certainly make some profit. Consider moving away from the bus or the subway or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Small things to increase your activity also count towards your daily goal. "
READ MORE: Long walks are a good form of exercise – but it is not always enough
And even if 10,000 is not realistic, you add a kind of walking or cardio to your day – the benefits are worth it.
"Extensive research has been done that shows how important walking can be for our overall health, but also helps with weight loss, stimulating mood, [and] some chronic health problems, "she explained.I really like walking for people who start with exercises as everyone can do, especially if they are overweight or have an existing injury. It is a great way to let the heart pump while it has a fairly low impact. "
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