Is walking 10,000 steps a day actually good for you? The answer might surprise you.
The average person walks about 5,000 steps a day. But when you’re trying to improve your physical fitness, “average” isn’t going to cut it. Taking more steps per day has actually been associated with a lower risk of dyeing… so if you aim to increase your step count, tracking your steps is the best way to make sure you hit that target.
There are all sorts of reasons why tracking your steps is useful. For one thing, it gives you a baseline to work from. Once you know how many steps you usually take in a day, you can start setting goals to increase that number. Additionally, tracking your steps helps you be more mindful of your activity level throughout the day. If you see that you only walk 2,000 steps by lunchtime, you know you need to get moving if you want to reach your goal. And finally, many people find that wearing a pedometer or step tracker is motivating in and of itself. Seeing those numbers going up can give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to keep moving.
How Many Steps Should You Be Taking?
The general consensus is that 10,000 steps is a good daily goal. That number has unclear origins and limited scientific basis. Even though few studies employed alternative step goals, the 10,000 steps/day goal appears to have the greatest impact on increasing physical activity. While 10,000 steps may seem like a lot at first glance, it’s actually not as difficult to hit as you might think. Once you get into the habit of tracking your steps and consciously trying to increase them, those 10,000 will become less and less daunting. And if 10,000 seems like too much for you right now, start with a smaller goal—say, 7,500 or 5,000—and work your way up from there.
What Tools Can You Use To Track Your Steps?
There are all sorts of devices and apps available these days that can help you track your steps. Fitbit and Garmin are two popular brands of wearable fitness trackers that also track steps; but wrist worn trackers like these are banned in sports like rugby and hockey. Alternatives such as ORB Smartguard are needed as incorporate the fitness tracker into an item already worn… a mouthguard! No matter what method you use, the important thing is that you find something that works for you and helps keep you motivated on your journey to better fitness.
No matter what your fitness goals may be, tracking your steps is a useful way to gauge your progress and ensure that you’re moving in the right direction. By setting a daily step goal and utilising one of the many available tools to track your progress, you can turn an “average” day into an opportunity to get one step closer to reaching your fitness goals.