Many of us track our steps with smart devices or apps and are, of course, thrilled when we reach that vital famous goal of 10,000 steps! The app logs remind us to see how often we can manage 10000 steps a day.
There is a misconception amongst fitness enthusiasts that an individual should target for 10,000 steps a day if they want to stay healthy and fit. Hence, individuals across the world have consequently set the number ‘10,000’ as a daily target of steps.
The Background Behind the Number 10000.
It dates back to a marketing campaign which was once started and surveyed before the beginning of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. At that time, a company started selling a device named pedometer or Manpo-Kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” is steps, and “Kei” refers to the meter.
It was widely successful at that time. The ‘10000 steps a day’ target comes from the pedometer which was sold in Japan in 1965 by Yamasa Clock.
You might think that this number has emerged after years of research to find whether 9000 steps or even 10,000 or maybe 12,000 is quite ideal for long-term health. Actually, no such fact-related research exists.
Know the Truth
Regarding our fitness and health, it is recommended to walk 10000 steps a day. It can be a frustrating task to accomplish, especially in a busy life and the pandemic. Some studies suggest that the step count could improve heart health, emotional health and reduces the risk of diabetes to an extent. The truth behind living fit and healthily is full of propositions which are already popular. These are:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As the saying goes – “eat breakfast like a king…”
Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
Get seven to eight hours of quality sleep every day.
Consuming 2000 calories a day is normal. It shouldn’t be less than 1800 for an adult.
Basic and generalized guidelines can be helpful when they’re accurate, but human health is far too complex and confusing to be reduced to a numerical imperative.
For some people, these rules can cause more harm than good. It’s not like you shouldn’t get 10,000 steps – if you can do it without getting frustrated and harming your body, thumbs up! But if you are leading a sedentary lifestyle or have a desk job; even a small effort gives you health benefits.
The Department of Movement and Sports Sciences of Ghent University did a study on increased physical activity improving overall health of an individual. The objective of the study was to realize if 10,000 steps per day actually benefited the participant’s health. It showed that any individual will benefit from regular physical exercise. The aim is not to achieve 10k steps, instead, one can jog for 10 mins or try interval walking for 20 mins 4 to 5 days a week. Other activities like swimming, cycling or playing sports like badminton can help too.
The Bottom Line
The 10,000 steps or Manpo-Kei is not a golden rule to be met. A person who regularly walks 4,000 steps a day can also stay healthy. It is vital to set a target for fitness that meets the needs of an individual and he must stay motivated to be consistent. Even a person who walks 3000 steps a day, but does it every day, will stay healthy.