Turns out 10,000 steps isn't the magic number to lower your health risks

Turns out 10,000 steps isn’t the magic number to lower your health risks

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For a long time, taking 10,000 steps a day was a goal for many people. However, this number has since been debunked: “10,000 steps is kind of an arbitrary number,” Catherine Hagan Vargo, a physical therapist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, previously told HuffPost.

Although 10,000 steps isn’t as valuable as once thought — and may be a tough daily goal for most people — a new study shows that a more realistic number could improve some results for health. Research published in Nature Journal found that walking 8,200 steps a day is linked to a lower risk of developing certain conditions and chronic diseases.

The recent study used data from the National Institutes of Health’s National All of Us research program in the United States, which focuses on underrepresented communities and uses various resources from electronic records, fitness trackers and more to determine results. The study followed 6,042 people aged 41 to 67 using electronic health records from Fitbit fitness trackers. Participant data was studied over four years, and all participants had to agree to wear their Fitbit for at least 10 hours a day.

Specifically, taking 8,200 steps a day reduced the risk of obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sleep apnea and major depressive disorder. The risk of these problems continued to decrease as people progressed. Taking between 8,000 and 9,000 steps per day reduced the risk of diabetes and hypertension, but this risk did not decrease any further for people who took more than 9,000 steps per day.

An important caveat should be noted: it was a considerable lack of diversity in the study – 84% of participants were white, 73% were female, and 71% had a college degree. In addition, participants had a lower rate of medical comorbidities than other populations. Further research is therefore needed to determine whether these results are also true for other groups of people.

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By walking 8,200 steps every day, you can reduce your risk of many chronic health conditions.

There are many ways to reach an 8,200 step goal

You can achieve your goal in many ways – you can take several short walks throughout the day, take a long hike, or even take an indoor walk through a mall or mall.

Changing walks from time to time is a good idea so as not to get bored. If you generally find walking boring, you can try interval walks, which use fast and slow pushes to get faster walking results and give your mind something to focus on. You can also try calling a friend while you’re walking, listening to an interesting podcast, or creating a playlist of your favorite songs.

“Engagement is a big part of making sure people can engage” in exercise, Dr. Tamanna Singh, clinical cardiologist and co-director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Sports Cardiology Center, told HuffPost. Ohio.

Even if you can’t take 8,200 steps a day, you can try committing to shorter walks

When it comes to exercise, “something is always better than nothing”. Dr. Aaron Baggish, professor of medicine at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, previously told HuffPost.

While you can’t always hit 8,200 steps a day (and who can?), that’s okay. Simply prioritizing a daily walk will have benefits, such as improved mood, increased strength, and reduced joint pain.

What’s more, a daily 21-minute walk reduces your risk of heart disease by 30%, according to a Harvard Health report.

“Walking is the most common form of exercise in the United States,” says Amanda Bonikowske, associate director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at the Mayo Clinic.

So by increasing the number of steps or adding variety, you’re well on your way to improving your health.

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features that encourage you to add movement to your day because it’s not only good for the body, but also for the mind. We get it: Workouts can be a bit tedious, but there are ways to move more without fear. Whether you like hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts, or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser

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