We’ve all heard that we should get 10,000 steps / day. Thanks FitBit and Garmin.
Where does this come from?
Back in Tokyo in 1960, people were excited about fitness. With the Olympics looming, the Japanese developed the first commercial pedometer, called “manpo-meter,” Manpo meaning 10,000-steps in Japanese.
Why the number? Research revealed that men who burned 2,000 calories per week through exercise had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. That breaks down to around 300 calories / day, which can be achieved by 10,000 steps / day.
There are now over 300 peer-reviewed articles utilizing the Manpo protocol. These studies have demonstrated that achieving Manpo, 10,000 steps, helps to lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health (that’s your heart, lungs, blood vessels), lower blood sugar and diabetes risk.
A study from the American Cancer Society followed 140,000 older adults, reporting that those who walked 6-horus / week had lower risk of dying from Cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer.
More benefits of walking:
* Lymphatic system activation,
* Toxin elimination,
* Infection fighting,
* Immunity strengthening.
Those are good reasons to Manpo every day.
The longest-lived people on the planet, those who live in “Blue Zones” don’t do CrossFit, run marathons, Iron-Man Triathlons, Spartan Races, Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, or Strongman training. They live in environments where they get constant low-level physical activity each day.
They garden, they are moving at work. They walk every darn day. Everywhere.
Here are easy ways to get steps in:
* Take a few small walks around the block. Walk, instead of driving to pick up lunch. Get outside after dinner (a 10-minute walk does wonders for lowering your blood sugar).
* Walk to the store when you can.
* Park in a spot that is furthest from the building.
* Set a timer to walk for 5 minutes every hour.
* Take one long walk of 30-40 minutes.
What to do today:
Take your tracker (you know you have one), and track your steps.
How many are you getting?
What strategy can you try tomorrow in order to build on that number?
Chunk it. If you’re hitting 2,000 steps per day, what can you do to add another 200 to that total tomorrow? If you did that for just 10-days, you’d double your step count, on your way to accomplishing that Manpo.
You’re the main character of this story.
Go get it.