Last week, we reported that researchers of a “new study” found that the magical 10,000 steps a day is important for cultivating a healthy lifestyle.
This “new study” also indicated that walking faster than a regular pace is a contributing factor. Various studies have shown that brisk walking and long-distance hiking has a positive impact on all kinds of disease including diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Several studies have found that the pace at which you walk can also curtail death. One study showed that participants that picked up the pace lived an average of seven years longer.
The most recent study performed by the researchers’ University of Sydney and the University of Southern Denmark confirmed the findings of earlier studies. Walking has many health benefits and can extend life expectancy.
However, it did differ slightly concerning the optimum number of daily steps that deliver the most benefit.
Let’s Just Say 7500 Steps Shall We…
The notion of adopting a healthy lifestyle by walking 10,000 steps was first conceived in 1964 by Manpo-kei, a Japanese company that manufactured the first pedometer.
The 10,000 steps target was “debunked” in 2019 when researchers found that between 7000 and 8000 steps delivered the same health benefits as 10,000 steps.
So if you target around 7500 steps a day, you should be good. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the average American walks about 1.5-2 miles a day. That’s only 3000 to 4000 steps.
It’s the same story in the UK. The NHS report that the average Brit only walks between 3000 and 4000 steps as well. Is there any wonder that the UK and the US also have the highest obesity rates?
Why We Need To Walk Further And Faster
Walking is a low-entry form of exercise. We do it every day. However, we might not be doing it well enough to reap the health benefits walking can offer.
The latest study confirmed walking further and faster optimises your exercise routine. The researchers measured their results in segments of 2000 steps. For every 2000 steps, the risk of health complications that could lead to premature death is lowered by 8-11%.
One of the reasons for this is that walking further and faster triggers the cardiovascular system and lowers stress. When you consider that stress lies behind every major chronic disease in the world today, it’s easy to see why a walking program is so appealing to so many people.
Physical exercise also makes you breathe more deeply which invites more oxygen into the bloodstream. Oxygen is needed to make white blood cells which help the immune system ward off bacteria, illness and disease.
So it stands to reason that walking further and faster contributes to your health. How many steps you take every day is still open for debate, and entirely up to you. But making time to hit at least 7500 steps a day, is probably worth it.