Walking 10,000 steps a day has long been touted as our recommended goal, but exactly how important is it to reach this?
Regardless of the answer, there are lots of health benefits that come with walking 10,000 steps a day, both physically and mentally. Let’s discover what these are so you can determine if this is the fitness goal for you.
Why 10,000 Steps a Day?
The number ‘10,000’ originates from a Japanese marketing campaign in the 1960s. The campaign was created with the intention of persuading people to live healthy and active lives. Since then, the magic number 10,000 has stuck. It’s an impressive, but also achievable, round number that people believe they can complete, which increases motivation and determination.
Walking 10,000 steps a day equates to approximately 5 miles or 8 kilometres. Regularly walking this distance is heavily has been linked with a range of health benefits, both physical and mental. Some people even support their weight loss goals through walking 10,000 steps a day.
What are the Health Benefits of Walking?
There are countless health benefits linked to walking 10,000 steps a day. From boosting your mood and improving sleep to helping to improve your fitness, getting outside for a walk can make all the difference. And of course, the extra dose of vitamin D is a great added bonus!
Weight Loss Support
Losing weight gradually can mean you’re more likely to achieve long-lasting results. Walking 10,000 steps each day could burn an extra 2,000-3,500 calories a week than if you were following a sedentary lifestyle. Burning these extra calories could potentially help you to reach a weight loss goal quicker.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
The more walking you do, the healthier your heart will become. Regular physical exercise increases the amount of oxygenated blood that’s sent to your muscles, putting your heart in a better position to handle more advanced exercise and movements.
Support Bone Strength
Regular walking puts stress on your bones, which can help to improve their overall strength and density. This may help to lower your risk of muscle and joint problems later on in life.
Boost Your Mood
Physical exercise paired with getting outside causes the body to release key neurotransmitters linked to mood control and happiness, such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine.
These same neurotransmitters help to increase blood flow to the brain, which can help to improve cognitive function. This could lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety, while increasing productivity and concentration.
Why You Shouldn’t Limit Yourself to Just One Fitness Goal
While walking 10,000 steps each day can be effective and beneficial goal, it’s important that you don’t put all your strength and motivation into this one achievement. After a while, completing the same goal each day can become repetitive, or your body will become used to the 10,000 steps, meaning they’ll no longer be as challenging.
While it’s great to keep the walking up, there’s no harm in trying new forms of exercise. If the walking is working well for you, why not try some running? Having an open mindset to different types of exercise that can help you reach a range of fitness goals while also stimulating your mind.
Another reason to keep your exercise routine varied is to target different parts of your body. Your muscles require different types of stimulation, so it can be beneficial to have a varied routine that includes walking, cardio and weights.
How to Fuel Your Body for Exercise
Preparing your body before any type of exercise is crucial. Using Garden of Life protein powder to make a protein shake can help to support muscle repair and recovery after exercise. Protein can also help to energise your body, which could see you being able to exercise for longer.
We recommend our Raw Organic All-in-One Shake, which is formulated with high levels of vitamin C to contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Alternatively, try our Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy Protein, a pre-workout nutrient blend designed to provide your body with the all-important energy and focus it needs for a successful workout.