At some point in time, you may have heard that you should strive to take at least 10,000 steps every day. Reaching 10,000 steps a day provides many health benefits; while some days it may seem as if 10,000 steps is easy to attain if you’re having a productive day, other days may make it difficult to do so. So, should you try to get at least 10,000 steps per day? What are the benefits, and what are some ways you can help increase this number?
Why 10k is the Goal
According to Everyday Health, it isn’t essential that you get at least 10,000 steps every day. Rather, the number was put into place as a means to encourage people to be more active. However, it’s a good idea to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in at least five days of the week. Walking is one of the easiest ways to achieve this goal. Not only can being more active be beneficial for physical health, but it also is great for mental and emotional health. One way to track the number of steps you take a day is to use a pedometer app on your phone. A pedometer is a device that tracks the number of steps you take. These days, many smartphones have built-in pedometers that can help calculate the number of steps you take, provided your phone is on you whenever you’re walking. You can use this method to try counting the number of steps you take a day for a few days to see the average number of steps you take in a day. From there, it’s easier to see where you need to make improvements.
Exercise, But Make it Fun
Another way to increase your daily step count is to create a challenge with your friends and family. This can be a fun way to help everyone in your life make some changes towards being healthier. The competition can be friendly or competitive; you can even add in a few rewards to the winner(s) who get the most days of 10,000 steps or more. Starting small can help you break down the goal of achieving 10,000 steps to something that is more manageable. If you typically walk less than 10,000 steps most days, you could try to slowly build yourself up to 10,000 instead of immediately trying to reach that number. If you are sitting most days due to work, try getting up to take a quick lap once an hour or every few hours. Schedule time into your day that can be dedicated to walking, such as after dinner, or before breakfast.
While getting 10,000 steps a day isn’t considered a requirement, it does allow you to be more physically active. You can take your current average number of steps and build up from there. You won’t only notice benefits in your physical health, but also your moods and emotions!
Written by GUADS intern with contributions from everydayhealth.com