8/03/2013

HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING – THE 10,000 STEPS CHALLENGE

Walking is a must for everyone whose legs are in good condition. You walk at home, in the office, etc. Research shows that an average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day. Research also shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve your health. Walking, unlike running or jogging, is a gentle form of exercise. This makes walking a good choice of exercise for anyone. It is free and can be done anywhere. I personally have seen the results of walking regularly. I was able to maintain my weight for a year by walking, I did no other form of exercise. I also improved my endurance levels.


Walking stimulates and strengthens bones, increasing their density. It also helps maintain healthy joints, preventing conditions such as arthritis. Walking, especially up a hill, helps tone your butt, legs and abs. It is a good cardiovascular exercise. It helps maintain a healthy heart, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Research further shows that walking helps reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. It helps maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity. To be very effective as a form of exercise, walking should be done briskly, tighten your stomach muscles, walk with your back straight, not leaning forward or backward. Your arms should also swing as you walk.

The 10,000 steps challenge is a good initiative to get people moving. You would need a pedometer to monitor how many steps you currently take per day. You may find out that you already walk above 10,000 steps a day, or below. 10,000 steps sounds a lot, but it is very achievable. Research shows that 1,000 steps is the equivalent of around 10 minutes of brisk walking. You do not need to set out a particular time for walking, your daily walk to work, school, e.t.c counts. To increase the number of steps you take in the day you could try the following tips:

Walk distances that are walkable. We tend to drive everywhere because it’s more convenient.

Get on your feet more when at home. For example, don’t yell out someone’s name to help with the remote control, get up and get it yourself.

Use the stairs at work, home or shopping malls rather than the elevator.

Take a walk with your spouse, friend, children, etc.
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