If you’ve ever worn a FitBit, or even if you know someone who wears one regularly, you’ve probably heard it over and over: We should all be aiming to get 10,000 steps in per day. While that little buzz on your wrist at the end of the day when you’ve reached your goal is insanely satisfying, is 10,000 actually the magic number? It turns out that it might be for some, but it doesn’t actually apply across the board for everyone.
The number 10,000 actually got its start kind of randomly. Back in the 1960s when the Tokyo Olympics started a giant fitness obsession throughout Japan, companies created pedometers called “manpo-meters,” which literally mean “10,000 steps.”
Since then, the number has just sort of stuck around, and while research has found that 10,000 is a great goal to aim for, it also might be too much for some women. If you’re usually sedentary, drive to get around, and spend most of your workday at your desk, research has shown that aiming for a number as high as 10,000 might be demotivating. Likewise, if you’re already a fitness class addict who spends four mornings a week at the gym, you can probably reach 10,000 steps in your sleep.
So how do you know how much you should actually be walking per day? Instead of picking an actual number, science has shown that even aiming for 500 to 1,000 more steps than you usually take a day, and upping your goal each week, can actually be much more effective than picking an arbitrary number and sticking with it every single day. Your step count should be about making small changes each week – no need for a major lifestyle overhaul here!
[Photo: Bows and Sequins]