A 10,000-step daily target is an achievable number when encouraging people to add more exercise into their lives.
A fitness tracker can be a good tool to bring awareness of your activity throughout the day but shouldn’t be the bottom line of your daily exercise regimen.
Dr. Christi Childers, a D.O. at Rapid City Medical Center, Spearfish, says, “I think it is used improperly sometimes. I don’t want to have your daily activity (or steps) as counted as exercise. I don’t think that is correct but I love the awareness it brings and I think that is a great first step.”
In fact, a 10,000-step goal might actually be too low if you want the maximum health benefits. You will get more benefit from an exercise routine than just clocking steps you made in a day.
Childers recommends resistance training to prevent bone breaks and keeping your fitness time fun and varied. She adds that walking is a good exercise option, but walkers should try and pick up the intensity by upping the pace or adding some resistance like dumbbells or ankle weights.
She believes strongly in preventative health – doing exercise that focuses on your daily functions.
Childers says, “I feel like your goal should be functional movement – you want to be able to squat all the way down and stand all the way up you want to be able to you know, pick up the bag of dog food – that kind of thing, you know functional movements and to do that I feel like we have to do more than just walking. We have to be more functional with perhaps weights – high intensity interval training – stuff like that.”
Regular exercise also promotes good balance; and stronger bones and muscles, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Childers goes on to say many aspects play a part in your overall health, saying, “You know your spirituality, your stress level, your genetics, your ability to move, that is all wrapped up into one so I feel like you just can’t walk, you just can’t eat right, you can’t just have no stress. I think your health is a combination of all those things.”
And if you’re at a loss of what exercise plan to do on your own then seek a professional trainer or get into a group exercise class to help motivate you or get a group of friends to work out with for accountability.
She also mentions that calorie intake should be watched as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
She goes on to say that 10,000 steps on average is about 5 miles a day and if you break that down, it’s just over 400 calories burned per day (based on 7 days a week).