On twitter, I follow a bunch of fitness trainers and enthusiasts and I gain immensely from their pool of knowledge. However, there are a few things that I see on there that just seem to bother me a bit. One of them is the popular advice of taking 10,000 steps daily. Some even include it in actual workout plans. I’m not insinuating that It’s bad advice to tell someone to take 10,000 steps daily (10,000 is like the magical number), it just bothers me that its an advice that has to be hammered in people’s heads in the first place.
Walking should be one of the most basic things for a person who wants good health. Walking is free. It requires no subscription and requires no equipment. Some people only take time out to walk whenever they’re dealing with weight issues or when it’s been prescribed for them in order to combat some of their health issues e.g. diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension etc. Walking is one of the things everyone should learn to enjoy doing, just for the sake of it or at least to generally improve or maintain one’s health, and not for something as specific and corrective as achieving weight loss, managing weight or other health conditions (even though walking helps a bit with all of these).
For a human being, walking shouldn’t be seen so much as a fitness or weight loss thing (even though it is). Walking should be ‘being’.
It shouldn’t be a matter of whether you have a car to move you around or not. It also shouldn’t be a matter of whether you’re overweight or having a health condition or not. Health and Fitness is a lifestyle. If you’re trying to get fit and or just be healthy, you shouldn’t have a problem with taking 10000-12000 steps per day even if you may have to consciously make yourself do it. If you can’t manage this number of steps a day, remember that “little is better than none”.
Health benefits of walking
Walking is cardiovascular in nature and that comes with a number of health benefits. Walking helps to:
- Reduce stress after a hectic day or period
- Manage weight
- Improve balance
- Reduce risk of heart diseases and stroke
- Increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness
- Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
- Manage conditions such as hypertension, joint stiffness etc.
How to make walking fun
Walking doesn’t have to be a drag. You can make your walk more fun by walking with company, walking your dog, taking photographs of yourself and other interesting things you see, window shopping, rehearsing a speech etc. and you can do this while listening to some music or podcast to make it even more enjoyable. On this note, you may want to check out this article on “10 songs to include in your workout playlist”.
Walking is a lot of things. It is a good way of maintaining or improving health. It could be relaxing. An evening stroll can serve as a perfect time to think or meditate and make important decisions that require clarity of the mind. Walking is a perfect way to destress. Walking is fun.
When all these benefits are taken into consideration, one is tempted to consider it a big deal to walk, but it’s not. It’s just a very uncomplicated way to prevent a lot of the complicated issues inactive people face. It could be a fun thing to do, but at the very least, it should be preventive rather than corrective. So, yeah – and I hate that I have to state this too, but – “walk 10,000 steps daily, but only because it is the normal thing to do.”