Have you heard of the 10,000 steps-a-day? It was new to me, but try living with a husband newly committed to weight loss and good health and you can’t avoid learning about these things.
Why 10,000 steps a day? I always want to know why; I no longer want to put myself under duress if there’s little or no scientific evidence supporting the action. I’ll tell you about the Taliban Diet one of these days.
The 10,000 Steps-a-Day started in Japan in the 1960’s based on research led by Dr Yoshiro Hatano, which argued that if the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day, and then increased their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the result would be healthier, thinner people. He calculated that 10,000 steps a day would burn about 20% of our calorie intake. The Japanese adopted the practice with walking clubs and the business slogan 30 years ago; slowly the West appears to be embracing the practice – and so are we – with pedometers to measure and monitor progress.
The arguments for more exercise are convincing and walking seems to me to be a painless way to achieve exercise goals. Our lives and our work are largely are sedentary and there is numerous evidence about the emerging health problems associated with such inactivity.
In Australia, a clinical study conducted by the Body-Brain Performance Institute, in conjunction with Swinburne University’s Brain Sciences Institute, showed a clear link between vigorous physical activity, increased brain function and reduced stress levels at work.
Still want more proof? This website lists research behind the practice.
In balance, Livescience argues that, while there have been some specific studies reporting health benefits, the general benefits of setting a goal for walking are worthwhile.
The value of setting goals has long been integral to coaching methods and I certainly need goals to aim for when it comes to exercise. I have only met the 10,000 steps goal 3-4 times in the past month, but I haven’t lost interest. Which is more than I can say about gym membership. Besides, for me it combines beautifully with mindfulness ‘training’.
Have I convinced you? Come walk with me!