8 Surprising Health Benefits of Walking 10,000 Steps a Day

health benefits walking 10000 steps a day step tracking daily

Walking 10000 steps a day is becoming an increasingly popular fitness goal. This low-intensity workout dates back to the 1960s when Japanese pedometers coined this workout “manpo-kei” which translates to “10,000 steps meter.”

Today, walking 10,000 steps a day has a range of health benefits. Keep reading to learn eight surprising health benefits of walking 10,000 steps. 


1. Walking 10000 Steps Boosts Your Health

This fitness trend has been linked to decreasing chronic illnesses such as metabolic syndromes, diabetes, and heart diseases.  In fact, if all Americans were able to take ten thousand steps a day, we would likely be able to decrease the health care budget by $500 a year. This is explained in Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen's book Age Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out Of Money Or Breaking A Hip

One of the biggest health perks of this routine is it’s good for your heart. As physical activity increases the amount of oxygenated blood that is sent to your muscles. So the fitter you are, the healthier your heart is. 


2. It Strengthens Your Lungs

Moving around each day helps to strengthen your lungs and its surrounding muscles. While the rate and volume of oxygen (VO2) you take in increases, so does your body’s ability to use that oxygen efficiently. This is referred to as your VO2 max. So the fitter you are from walking 10,000 steps a day, the higher your VO max is, and the stronger your lungs are. 


3. It Improves Your Concentration

When you work out regularly, like walking 10 thousand steps a day, this activity increases the release of endorphins (or feel-good hormones) to your brain. This results in an improved cognitive function which is your metal abilities like thinking, learning, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving and attention.  

So not only does walking ten thousand steps a day lead you to feel less anxious and stressed, but it also improves your productivity, concentration, and creativity. Endorphins from walking regularly also improve your energy levels to fight fatigue.

Also walking 10,000 steps a day releases key neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in addition to endorphins. These neurotransmitters are key in boosting your mood as well. 


4. It Strengthens Your Bones

Routine physical activity like walking 10,000 steps a day, put stress on your bone, which lowers your risk for osteoporosis while helping improve your bone density. Your bones will get even stronger with weight-bearing exercises, but walking 10,000 steps a day will still do the trick, as you're working your bones with every step you take.


5. You’ll Grow Muscles

Not only will your bones get stronger, so will the muscles on your body. Daily physical activity causes tiny tears in your muscles, which is actually a good thing. As your muscles tear, your muscles get stronger and grow bigger. 


6. It Helps Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Regular physical activity like walking 10,000 steps a day, allows your muscles to use more glucose in your bloodstream. This stabilizes your blood sugar as it also helps the insulin in your body do its job of working more efficiently. 


7. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to stabilizing your blood sugar, walking 10,000 steps a day will also lower your blood pressure. This type of regular physical activity is key in managing and preventing high blood pressure. This is because every time you do your daily steps, the stiffness in your vessels are reduced, whiles let your blood flow more freely. 


8. It Improves Flexibility

Physical activity, like walking 10,000 steps a day, is key in increasing your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the better your posture is, the less of a risk you have for injury, and you will have fewer aches and pains in your body throughout the day. 


How to Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

Now that you know how good walking 10,000 steps a day is for you, it's time to start stepping, right? Might seem easier said than done. Don't worry, working up to your 10,000 steps a day goal is possible, the first step is having a way to track your workout. 


Use A FitBit Or Pedometer 

Before you start your steps, you'll want to make sure you have a way to measure those steps. You'll want to use a device like a pedometer or FitBit. You'll want to make sure your device is fully charged before your steps, so recharge that flat Fitbit with a new cable today

Pedometers like FitBits don't only measure how many steps you take, but also keep you interested in physical activity.


How To Reach Your Goal 

It might seem at first that 10,000 steps are a crazy goal, but it's actually easier to reach than you might think. Here are some ways you make hitting 10,000 steps that much easier. 

One thing you can to that makes your goal easier to reach, is taking every opportunity to walk. So maybe that's walking to work or the grocery store, or even just parking your car further away from your destination. 

You'll also want to challenge yourself to get you and move about five to ten minutes every hour when you're sitting down for a long time, like at work. 


Build Up To 10,000 Steps

If you're starting out as someone who walks nowhere near 10,000 steps a day, you'll want to increase the number of steps you take gradually each day. 

So start at somewhere low like 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which is actually higher than most people get who sit behind a desk all day. If you are more sedentary, you'll want to take it slow so you can avoid injury. 

Instead of getting wrapped up on 10,000 steps, just focus on doing a few more steps than you did the day before. 


Start Stepping

Now that you know the eight surprising health benefits of walking 10000 steps a day, and how easy it is to achieve this goal, start stepping! The only thing you have to lose is some extra weight. For more resources on working out and how to achieve your fitness goals, check out our blog. 

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