This month I have been wondering if all the hype on taking 10,000 steps a day is really all that necessary as long as you are continually getting up from sitting and moving around, practicing resistance training, flexibility training, cardio HIIT workouts and making good food choices. So I ask…….
How many steps a day are enough?
The research to keep moving for a healthier life is everywhere. I have written before about how too much sitting is detrimental to your health. But I ask again, how many steps a day are really necessary?
I am so grateful for the Fitness Journal I receive every month from the American Council on Exercise, as I am a certified professional through this organization. In the April 2018 edition, they printed an article about a study done on walking. According to this 2 year study done by the Journal of a Alzheimer’s Disease (2017; doi:10.3233/JAD-170586), just 4000 steps a day can improve both attention and mental skills in adults age 60 and over.
The hippocampus of the brain is the region associated with memory and spatial navigation. This study looked at the thickness of the hippocampus from MRI scans and also did neurological testing for cognitive functioning.
Those that walked more than 4,000 steps a day had a thicker hippocampus along with surrounding areas of the brain. Participants demonstrated higher performances in attention and information processing speed than participants who did not walk as much.
In my eBook 30 Intentions in 30 days, I suggest many ways to keep moving. The research I mentioned about the health benefits of taking 3 short walks a day vs one longer walk allows an easier way to incorporate movement throughout the day rather than long workouts at the gym everyday.
Now in my option you can take 10- 20,000 steps a day and that is not going to offset eating a lousy diet, having poor posture and letting the daily stressors of life get to you. Here are a few ideas:
Organic vegetables, fruit and “good fats”
Grass fed beef free of antibiotics
Free range chicken and turkey hormone free
Organic whole food supplements
Fresh water free of chemicals, especially flouride
Avoid grains and sugar
Remember there is a choice and free will in every moment!
Wishing you a blessed pain free life,