The health benefits of 10,000 steps a day

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The journey to a healthier you starts with 10,000 steps.

According to a Stanford University research the average Canadian takes approximately 4,819 steps a day. That is the equivalent of approximately 3.8552 kilometres. Health experts are saying that 10,000 steps a day is needed in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are sitting for most of the day at your desk job or you are not as active as you would like to be – now is the time to challenge yourself to take at least 10,000 steps a day!

Fitness trackers

Fitness trackers are a great way to keep track of your activity levels. They can come in the form of a smart watch, a pedometer or an app on your phone.

  • Smart watches allow you to track your steps, physical activity level, heart rate, monitor your sleep and can provide other sensor-related functions.
  • A pedometer is a small device that measures the number of steps that you take and it also counts movements such as you bending over to tie your shoes or mowing your lawn.
  • Fitness tracking apps make it easy to record your physical activity throughout the day. You can use your phone app to see how many steps you take a day and challenge yourself to meet your daily, weekly or monthly fitness goals.

10,000 steps broken down

10,000 steps is equal to approximately 8 kilometres or about an hour and 40 minutes of walking. You do not have to achieve your full 10,000 steps in one walk. You can break it up with a walk to get your morning coffee or step away from your desk in the afternoon to get some fresh air.

Health benefits

Walking 10,000 steps, or taking any number of steps that is a challenge to your current physical level, will greatly benefit your health. Here are a few of the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day:

  • Heart health
  • Lung health
  • Heart disease and stroke prevention
  • Stronger bones and improved balance
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Improved health conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes

Get moving

By walking 10,000 steps a day, you will burn 500 extra calories which amounts to 3,500 extra calories a week. Health experts suggest brisk walking which will speed up your heart rate. While walking you should be able to talk but not sing, and you may find yourself puffing a little bit for air. Walking is considered a moderate activity but it is advised to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise or physical activity, especially if you have a medical condition.