The well-known Greek physician, Hippocrates, is often quoted as “Walking is man’s best medicine.” It is so because such an activity is very efficient to lower the risk of non-communicable illness (caused as a direct result of lifestyle and environmental factors) and to improve health. World widely, the guiding principle of physical health suggests that adults are supposed to involve themselves in usual physical activities where they can directly interact with nature. Walking can be a moderate intensity physical activity that has positive effects on fitness. As an alternative, step based walking is up-and-coming around the world. Accordingly, the amounts of walks in steps are interpreted as:
list item less than 5,000 steps per day (sedentary lifestyle)
list item between 5,000 to 7,499 steps per day (low active)
list item between 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day (somewhat active)
list item equal to 10,000 steps per day (active)
list item more than 12,500 steps per day (highly active)
Various health specialists recommend 10,000 (10K) steps in a day (the letter “K” is used to represent 1000, because it represents the prefix kilo which means 1000 of something in the metric system) to boost your energy levels, mood, mental health and to enhance healthiness. The good news is that achieving this target is not as tough and hard as you might generally think. A 10K-steps walk per-day is associated with everyday fitness around the world (a popular notion on media and in practice now-a-days). For example, among Japanese families, it is very common to achieve this goal. A 10K-steps walk is equivalent to approximately eight kilometers, or else 100 minutes’ walk, depending upon your length of stride and walking speed. However, one should not think to do this all in one walk. Now the question is how long it takes to do 10K-steps. Well, the time depends on intensity of steps taken to attain 10K-steps. For instance, 100 steps per minute are taken with moderate intensity; on the other hand, 130 steps per minute are taken with powerful intensity. So, if the activity is in moderate intensity, it would take 100 minutes to make 10K-steps. If the activity is energetic in intensity, it might take 77 minutes to get 10K-steps. Above and beyond. 10,000 to 12,499 steps per day are prerequisite for dynamic lifestyle. Moreover, depending on body size and walking speed, the level of steps per day is roughly equivalent to an energy expenditure of 300 and 400 kcal (kilo calories) per day.
Several reviews and surveys have investigated the advantages of 10K-steps walking on body compositions. A research on adults, aged between 20 to 70, shows a 3cm loss in waist circumference after 6 months of a 10K steps/day walking program. For bone health, a regular walk of 10K-steps is sufficient to maintain bone mineral density in 49 to 64 years old adults. Improvements of blood pressure, anxiety as well as depression are the benefits that have been observed in numerous studies. Another question is how to reach 10K-steps. Obviously, you need to add steps throughout your activities on a daily basis. Then to accomplish the goal of 10K-step, you would probably have to ensure a 100 minutes’ walk (otherwise equal to any other workout) too. For other forms of exercise, Monash University recommends to add up things such as going to the gym, playing any games and swimming. The equivalence is discussed below:
• 1K-steps equals a ten minutes activity of moderate intensity like vigorous gardening, rowing, horse riding, cycling, swimming or else whatever thing that clearly increases heart-beat rate along with breathing. • 2K-steps is equal to an activity of high intensity with ten minutes (let’s say jogging, brisk rowing, circuit training. fast cycling, aerobics, competitive sport or all those things which make you huff and puff).
At present, strengthening facts verify that 10K-steps/day is an amount of physical activity which is correlated with a healthy life. Following points can be considered to achieve 10K-stepsIday target:
- Startup and choose your goal To begin with your walk program, the first main thing is to properly set the walking schedule. Then, before taking your first step, a very good and comfortable foot wear should be considered. One more thing is warming up the body which is overlooked so often. About five minutes slow walk is better for warming up the muscles. After warming up. stretching is also useful for the flexibility of muscles. Now in the beginning you should notice about your normal walk and take some time to familiarize yourself with the amount of time spent on each routine activity. If you think your routine is quite sedentary and a 10K-steps activity is a big deal then just start with a small goal. You may possibly go for improvement in your activity by increasing the duration and steps day by day. Each and every minor step leads to the right track of 10K-steps. Right away just go for a target which you think is attainable. Next you will feel that every little achievement encourages you to walk/run more.
- Invite your friends, family or coworkers for a walk Anything you do in a group is a more effective way to boost-up your goal as well as interest. Enlist your family, friends or colleagues to join the challenge of 10K-steps. What is more, you will see that the shared goal will help you to keep motivated. However, if you do not have anyone to walk with you. then do not worry and start your walk alone in a garden or any park. Enjoy fresh oxygen, chirping birds, soft blowing of twigs. grassy plots. fragrance of flowers, and people around you. self-talking or talking to the Creator of the creatures. Minds become fresh and thinking ability initiates during walk. I have experienced this all and decided to share my experience with you in the form of this article.
- Use an activity tracker To count a total distance is a great tactic to achieve your track improvement. A pedometer can be used as a measuring tool for this purpose. This is a small device that is attached on the waist. The device calculates the amount of steps being taken. If this device is not available, smartphones can be used as an alternative. There is some controversy on the accuracy of the measurements done by smartphones though. Nevertheless, to be able to observe the manner you do this activity is a superb thing. It boosts your confidence and drives you to look for the upcoming milestone.
- Set reminders Setting reminder for workout is also important, for example, notes in your room or on desk. using alarm of your mobile, alerts of any fitness application, calendar popups, etc. During the day such reminders motivate you to get your desired goal.
- Count up timeouts for walks To reach your target, it is better to distribute your tasks between active and incidental activities. To make your day more effective, you can easily find ample opportunities. Soon you will be habitual to make active preferences and hard choices. Once you become used to looking for them, definitely you will get a lot of ways to avoid the easier choices. Each and every minute counts during the whole day.
Here are a few simple ideas:
• Take a short walk or stroll at lunchtime.
• Take the stairs instead of the lift or bring a glass of water yourself instead of calling office boys.
• Take tea or coffee and chitchat with walk.
• Go to the market that is near to your home instead of driving.
• Step out for 10 minutes with friends or coworkers.
• Walk to your coworkers’ desks instead of online discussions.
• Go for a walk or play activity games in parks or gardens along with your children.
• Bring your shopping in one bag at a time.
• Make sure you move as much as you can during performing your household tasks.
• Talk and walk around while using phone.
Among people all over the world, walking is considered as a popular, acceptable, and accessible physical activity. But, the goal of 10K-steps/day may not be attainable for some groups including older adults, children and those living with chronic diseases. However, walking is a low risk physical activity. A 10K-steps/day walking is well thought as an alternative recommendation on physical activity for public health. In short, a 10K-steps/day walk should be promoted especially among physically inactive people. Future health promotion campaigns should consider behavioral and motivational aspects to meet this step-based goal. Since most often we are used to hear for fitness, -Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." as well as An apple a day keeps the doctor away."; likewise, 10K-steps a day, keep doctors away should also be our new health slogan.
• Batman DC. Hippocrates: Walking is man’s best medicine!’. Occup Med (Land). 2012 Jul; 62(5): 320-2.
• Korinek, E. V., Phatak, S. S… Martin, C. A., Freigoun, M. T, Rivera, D. E., Adams, M. A., & Hekler, E. B. (2018). Adaptive step goals and rewards: a longitudinal growth model of daily steps for a smarlphone-based walking intervention. Journal of behavioral medicine, 41(1), 74-86.
• Tudor-Locke, C., & Bassett. D. R. (2004). How many steps/day are enough?. Sports medicine, 34(1), 1-8.
• Wattanapisit. A., & Thanamee, S. (2017). Evidence behind 10,000 steps walking. Journal of Health Research, 31(3), 241-248.
Recommended steps per day by age