How Many Steps a Day Should You Really Walk?

by Volker Weber

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New York Magazine debunks the number:

...is there any medical reason to embrace this number? Not really. That’s because the 10,000-steps-a-day recommendation has nothing to do with sedentary, fast-food-drenched circa-2015 America. Rather, the recommendation first popped up in a very different food and environment: 1960s Japan.

In essence, it was a marketing ploy. That does not mean, that exercise is not good for you. In contrary, but you don't have to shoot for the moon:

Her work focuses on the most sedentary slice of the population (a rather big slice slice in the U.S.), and there, it can be a challenge to get people to take 5,000 steps, let alone 10,000. But moving from 2,500 steps a day, say, to 5,000, is a small but important victory for people who don’t get any exercise, and can have important health ramifications. "We know that you get the biggest bang for your buck by just moving from a sedentary state up a little bit," she said. "Your biggest bang comes from rolling off the couch and being active."

This is where Apple Watch gets it better than any step counter I have tried. It makes you get up at least 12 times a day. It makes you exercise for at least 30 minutes (remember 23.5 hours?) and it helps you burn more calories than before.

I have tracked my progress from April of last year, where I averaged 4449 steps a day, to today's 19256, averaged over the last 230 days. As you can imagine, it's been a huge change.

My next step is to ease up on the exercise a bit and focus more on the food I eat. As I read the other day, it takes 66 days on average to form a new habit. I am not going to give up on the 10k a day and 100k a week, but that's not a challenge anymore. I just need to make sure I don't break the chain you see in the picture.

[Thanks Ingo for the heads up]

Comments

You want a challenge? You love to walk? Maybe its worth to take a closer look at Ingress (The Game).

Richard Kaufmann, 2015-06-14

Just remember to choose Green

Chris Hudson, 2015-06-15

Zu diesem Ingress habe ich eine Meinung. Aber ich sage sie nicht. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2015-06-15

I just got back from a bit of a holiday in France, and did quite a bit of reading about nutrition over those two weeks.

I decided to try (mostly) eliminating sugar and carbohydrates. It has been really, really difficult. It indicates to me that I might have been overdoing it with carbs.

Eric Hancock, 2015-06-17

If you're looking at evidence-based food advice I recommend the food hourglass.

Andrew Magerman, 2015-06-17

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