10,000 Steps a Day to Improve Your Health: A Pedometer Makes it Easy

Research shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve your health. Putting one foot in front of the other can build stamina, burn excess calories and give you a healthier heart.  And since walking can be done almost anywhere at any time, it’s relatively easy to fit it into your daily routine.  Wearing a pedometer (or motion sensor counter) makes it even easier to count your steps and achieve the 10,000 step goal. Walk 10,000 steps a day with a pedometer for better health


Why 10,000 Steps?

The value of walking 10,000 steps a day can be traced to Japanese researchers in the 1960s led by Dr. Yoshiro Hatano.  They showed that walking 10,000 steps a day could burn 20% of our caloric intake.  The practice quickly gained popularity amongst Japanese walking clubs and eventually spread around the world.


How Far is 10,000 Steps?

Just how far is 10,000 steps, you may wonder?  Assuming that the average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long and it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, then 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.  The average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day, so adding extra steps to reach a goal of 10,000 should not be too difficult for most people.  In terms of time, 1,000 steps is the equivalent of around 10 minutes of brisk walking.

Experts recommend increasing the number of steps you take gradually.  For most healthy adults, adding 500 steps per day is easy to do until you reach your 10,000 steps a day goal.


How Many Steps Do You Take Each Day?

To find out how many steps you take each day, buy a pedometer.  A pedometer is a gadget that counts the electronic pulses each time you take a step, and multiplies those by your pre-programmed stride or step length. In addition to the total number of steps, some pedometers also measure distance traveled and calories burned.

Begin by measuring the length of your stride.  Having an accurate measurement of your stride is key to getting the best results from your pedometer. There are several ways to do it, but one of the easiest is to make a mark behind your right heel, then walk 10 steps and mark the spot where your right heel ends. Measure that distance and divide by 10.  That number is your stride length.


Magellan Echo in BlueHow to Wear a Pedometer

Make it a habit to wear your pedometer all day to count your total daily steps.  Just put your pedometer on in the morning when you are getting dressed and forget about it!  A basic pedometer, like the Oregon Scientific PE320 Pedometer, clips on your belt or waistband.  Other pedometers, like those made by Omron with dual-axis or tri-axis technology, allow you to conveniently slip the pedometer in your pocket or bag or clip it to your hip.

Some more advanced pedometers have a memory and can store and track your activity.  If you want to download the data to your computer, a pedometer like the OMRON Pocket Pedometer can store up to seven days of information and that easily downloads to a special health management software program that comes with the device.

For the newest in fitness technology, the wristwatch-style Magellan Echo connects wirelessly with your smartphone and shows elapsed time, distance and other fitness metrics at a glance.


How to Fit 10,000 Steps into Your Day

PYLE PPDE60 Pedometer with Personalized Calibration for Walking & Running & ECG Finger TouchIt really isn’t that hard to fit 10,000 steps into your daily routine.  By wearing your pedometer all day, you will be surprised at how quickly you can increase your step count!  Here are some easy ways to add more steps to your life:

  • Park further from the store or office and walk the rest of the way
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Get off of the bus sooner and walk the rest of the way
  • Go for a walk with a friend, family member or co-worker
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Get outside and play with the kids or do some gardening
  • Walk the golf course instead of riding in the cart
  • Join a gym and use their elliptical machine or treadmill, or invest in one for your home.


Get the Most From Your Walk

To get more fitness and health benefits out of your walk, gradually and steadily increase the frequency, intensity and duration of your walk.  Trainers also recommend that you change up your style of walking and vary between continuous and interval walking while you track your progress using your pedometer.



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