Our modern urban lifestyle with easy means of transportation, both public and private, is the culprit for our motionless daily life. No wonder that many city dwellers clock up a certain number of steps every day, a daily goal they hope will get them fit in a world where physical activity has become more of a hobby than a neccesity.
Not walking is one of the most common reasons for extra weight gain and poor physical shape, so keeping your body in motion throughout the day is a must for staying fit. Walking, especially while also exercising the upper body like with Nordic pole walking, is particularly good for your muscles, heart function, as well as blood pressure and circulation. As a gentle, low impact exercise, it doesn’t create challenges for your body, provided you use comfortable footwear and don’t exhaust yourself with overly-large distances. And, like all physical exercise, walking has a positive impact on your mood and can help you smile when you’re feeling a bit down.
Keeping all these benefits in mind, let’s take a closer look at the popular 10,000 steps approach, which claims that 10,000 steps each day is what it takes to stay fit and lead a healthy life. There’s no doubt that more walking positively affects our well-being and creates favourable conditions for further exercise, so getting people in motion is a great merit of this trend. But does it always have to be 10,000 steps?
Let’s remember that when it comes to physical activity, one size never fits all: while 10,000 steps can seem like a piece of cake for an experienced walker, an elderly person or someone recovering from an injury could actually harm themselves by sticking to this somewhat arbitrary number which has not, to date, been backed by any serious research. Plus, just like every other fitness routine, walking only works when combined with other aspects of your daily life, such as a healthy diet, sound sleeping and general emotional equilibrium. So when you set the number of steps to be walked on your fitness tracker ensure two things:
1) that the number of steps matches your particular needs, and
2) that this is just the start of your journey towards great physical shape.
Using your tracker, make sure you also monitor your pulse while you walk and follow the quality of your sleep, taking action to better it, whenever necessary.
Walking more each day is a great way to get on track to a healthier lifestyle, but let’s not confuse the path towards the goal with the goal itself. Start small and build up your own path towards DeepHealth! #DeepH