As we wind down our “walking” habit in this last week of Month 5, I thought it would be helpful to not only know why walking is so important to our health & wellness.
I felt that an understanding about the negative impact of not getting enough steps could be equally as important.
Something that could possibly become a catalyst to motivate you when you’re not feeling it.
So what’s with this week’s title?
Well, last week we built our theme around a great Pink Floyd song to help you maximize your daily step count with machines. This week, I couldn’t help but incorporate a great Aerosmith song to reinforce the importance of walking. And then contrast it with the consequences of being sedentary.
If you’re not an Aerosmith fan (which is hard to understand!), we can drive the same point with “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. So if that works better to get you moving, go with it!
We’ve all heard and read about the importance of taking 10,000 steps a day (aka 10K a day!). In fact, over the past 4 weeks we’ve covered numerous benefits of walking:
10,000 steps began as an arbitrary number; originally created as a promotion by a Japanese pedometer company. Since then, studies have confirmed that 10,000 appears to be the sweet spot where people lose weight and gain control of their health & wellness.
Under 5,000 steps per day is considered “sedentary”, where health risks begin. 5,000 to 7,499 is considered to be “low active”, which is the category that most people fall into. 7,500 to 9,999 is categorized as “somewhat active”.
If you’re fortunate to log 10,000 to 12,499 steps per day, you are considered to be “active”. With consistency this is a great place to be.
And over 12,500 puts you in the “highly active” category. Not too shabby…
So what if your activity level has you labeled as “low active”?
What does this mean and should you be concerned?
In addition to walking 10K steps a day, you need to include a few strength training and a couple of cardio sessions every week.
These can all contribute to your 10K a day, but walking by itself is not enough. Your body benefits from resistance training (aka strength training, lifting weights, or anaerobic exercise).
And although you can incorporate cardiovascular training into your weight-lifting sessions, the sustained intensity from aerobic exercise (aka cardio) is beneficial for your heart, lungs, brain, metabolism…
It will also improve your stamina and endurance during strength training sessions.
Many studies have been done to evaluate the consequences of being sedentary. Problems include an increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.
Here are 2 good articles worth reading:
Remember, the consistency of slow and steady for long-term results always trumps quick fix!
If you’re new to us, you can link back to the first post of the 6-month series here. And don’t worry about the time of year. We started in January because that’s when most people think about their health & wellness goals.
But you can start anytime. Like TODAY!!!
Same thing goes if you started but have fallen off-track. Go back to the first post of the series to re-calibrate and get yourself back on-track.
It’s a simple concept: One new habit per month, reinforced weekly to help you build the discipline. And since there are only a half dozen habits to build, it’s easy to manage.
But as Jim Rohn used to say “What’s easy to do is easy not to do”.
6 months to build the right habits and disciplines by:
- Taking action
- Consistently making good choices, and
- Learning from your missteps along the way
It’s up to you how long it takes to reach your goal. And then you have a lifetime to enjoy your new healthy lifestyle. How cool is that?
Next week we’ll introduce the 6th and final healthy habit of our 6-month series. In the meantime, don’t forget to Walk This Way!
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