The American Heart Association Recommends 10,000 Steps a Day or About Five Miles of Walking

Walking is relatively easy and it is key to your good health.  The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps a day (about five miles of walking).

american heart association steps per day

Does that sound like a lot?  It might actually not be necessary to walk that far.

The American Heart Association Recommendations

Heart health is important. The American Heart Association focuses on reducing factors known to increase risk for heart disease and stroke.

They recommend the simple 7:

  1. Manage blood pressure
  2. Control cholesterol
  3. Reduce blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

You might have noticed that moving more — getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day — will actually help you achieve all of the guidelines.

Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps?

Maybe. But, maybe not.

Research has found that that mortality rates do decrease with an increase in the number of steps you take, but the benefits level off at approximately 7500 steps.

And, increasing daily physical activity by as little as 2,000 steps—less than a mile of walking—was associated with positive health outcomes

It turns out that the origins of the 10,000 step rule are murky.  A Harvard University professor discovered that it was first suggested as part of a marketing campaign for a Japanese manufacturer of pedometers.

But Watch Out: Stop Moving and Your Body Reacts Immediately

Researchers at the University of Missouri persuaded healthy, active adults to stop moving around so much.  The volunteers cut the number of steps they took each day by at least half.

The researchers then watched the impact to glucose levels and a number of other metrics related to a person’s health.  The decline in health happeneed immediately.  Within the first day, of inactivity, teh volunteers’ blood sugar levels spiked significantly after meals and the levels climbed with each subsequent day of inactivity.

Easy Ideas to Move More Every Day

  • Take the stairs
  • Park farther away
  • Get an active hobby
  • Find friends that want to walk
  • Adopt a dog
  • Set timers to get up and move throughout the day

Take Care of Your Financial as Well as Physical Health

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