Healthy Habits: 10 reasons to do 10,000 steps
Engaging in regular, moderate exercise can help prevent disease, maintain a healthy weight, boost the immune system, improve sleep & mental health. A study in the journal of Comprehensive Physiology discovered that 35 different chronic health conditions are accelerated by physical inactivity.
Public health advice recommends that we rack up 10,000 steps a day. This sounds like a lot, and sounds like a 3 hour run is on the cards, but you would be so surprised at the amount of steps we rack up doing daily activities and chores around the house.
Check out 10 important reasons to get your 10,000 steps in every day
1. It boosts your heart health
Regular physical activity helps to increase the amount of oxygenated blood being sent to your muscles. The more fit you are, the more easily this occurs.
A person who gets 10,000 steps a day will have a heart that pumps more blood per beat compared to a person who gets 1,000 steps a day, meaning the person with 10,000 steps has greater aerobic capacity.
Aerobic capacity is known to be one of the best predictors of mortality and risk of disease.
2. It helps with weight loss
A 2017 study showed that when it comes to losing weight, doing 10,000 steps a day is just as effective as doing five 30-minute workouts a week.
Calories that are consumed by a person who gets 10,000 steps a day do not have the same effect as when the same amount is consumed by an inactive person. In a physically inactive person, the calories are more likely to be stored as fat or in the muscle or liver.
3. It helps to stabilise your blood sugar
Along with other lifestyle interventions, even just one hour of exercise per week decreases the development of diabetes by a whopping 48%.
When we are physically active, our muscles use up more of the glucose in our bloodstream and helps the body’s insulin work more efficiently.
4. It improves your brain power
Daily moderate exercise increases our ability to learn new tasks, grow new brain cells and help to stave off cognitive decline. Another study showed that even one bout of exercise enhanced the brain’s ability to reorganise, repair and adapt to new situations.
Aerobic exercise is also vital for new cell growth in the area of the brain that controls emotion and memory.
5. It strengthens your lungs
Daily activity helps to strengthen both the lungs themselves and the muscles surrounding them. As the rate and amount of oxygen you inhale increases during exercise, so does your body’s ability to use this oxygen efficiently.
6. It strengthens your bones & builds muscle
Physical activity such as walking and running places extra stress on our bones, improving their density and lowering your risk of developing osteoporosis in later life. GP Liam Kelly states that in knee arthritis, just one hour of exercise a week decreases disability by 50%.
7. It helps to lower blood pressure
Getting in your daily exercise is crucial for preventing and managing high blood pressure, as it can help to reduce the stiffness of the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely through them.
8. It improves flexibility
Daily physical activity helps to improve flexibility, in turn improving our posture, reducing risk of injury and also decreases the number of aches and pains we feel during the day.
9. It boosts energy levels
GP Liam Kelly advises that physical activity is a great way to boost energy levels and is the best treatment for fatigue as it strengthens the heart and improves circulation.
10. It improves mood & concentration
Physical activity boosts the release of endorphins), serotonin and dopamine (feel-good hormones) which play key roles in our mood control. It also increases blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function.
Not only do you feel less stressed and anxious when you are regularly active, but it also improves your creativity, productivity and concentration.
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