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Looking Closer at the 10,000 Steps Goal

By Sandy Schroeder

Ask almost anybody how many steps you should take daily, and they will say 10,000 steps. That number has been out there for quite some time, but recent research says it may not be the real story.

Following the Research

Researchers tracked the steps of 17,000 older women for a week. They followed up four years later and found as the number of daily steps increased the mortality rate decreased up to 7,500 steps, and then leveled off. The research was published last May in the Journal of the American Medical Association

The researchers concluded the health benefits were the same whether a person walked 7,500 or 10,000 steps. They also found 7,500 steps is about equal to doing 150 minutes of exercise a week.

What This Means

Researchers are still suggesting we get as much exercise as we can, but they are recommending individuals not get locked into goals such as the 10,000 steps. For some active individuals that may be an easy number, for others with respiratory or time issues it may not be as easy to do.

But someone who does 5,000 steps every day may be in great shape. On the other hand, Prevention recently cited a woman who has been walking 10,000 steps daily for the last 15 years. She is now in her 70s and thriving. She works full time and goes dancing on the weekends. Obviously, those 10,000 steps worked for her.

Check All of the Dividends

Weight loss works - Completing 7,500 to 10,000 steps daily can burn 2,000 to 3,500 calories a week. And one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Do the math and see where you could be.

Lungs get stronger - Researchers say walking every day strengthens lungs and surrounding muscles. As the volume and rate of oxygen inhaled increases, the body's ability to use it improves too.

Concentration sharpens - The increased blood flow to the brain improves cognitive function. At the same time, stress and anxiety subside. Walking more may play out at home and at work.

Bones get healthier - Weight-bearing exercise like walking improves the density of bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

So What Should We Be Doing

  • See where we are now
  • Start posting daily, weekly and monthly goals
  • Make sure you are out there daily

Making the effort and being out there daily, or doing a comparable workout will make a difference.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in.League City, Tex.

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