Why 10,000 steps?
A Japanese doctor back in the 1960s researched frequent walkers and determined the average person burned about 300 calories by walking 10,000 steps. Measuring the number of steps you take, which is basically tracking distance, is actually a better metric than counting physical activity minutes (“I walked for 45 minutes…”).
Why? If someone walks for an hour ─ but pauses to check smartphone messages, pet a dog, check messages again, and wait for a traffic light to change ─ he’s not exercising the whole time. But step counters provide measurable results.
There are many inexpensive pedometer devices you can purchase, such as the FitBit or Nike+ FuelBand, which can tally your daily steps and offer additional customized features as well.
Keep in mind that the number of steps to take depends on your aim. Fifteen minutes (typically a little less than a mile) may be all you need to bring down a post-dinner blood-sugar spike. But you’ll need to walk longer to lower your risk of breast cancer or lose weight.
Walking is my favorite exercise to recommend to just about everyone ─ young, seniors, morbidly obese, or a normal BMI. It benefits your heart, your head and your thighs.
The snow here in New Jersey is finally melting and we can finally hit the pavement once again. If you’re looking to boost metabolism, put yourself in a better mood, or just get a second wind to make it through the day, head out for a brisk walk. And don’t forget that pedometer!
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
“Dr. Seun” is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties of New Jersey. He is a board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained advanced laparoscopic surgeon specializing in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, lapband and general surgery including gallbladder, hernias and colon surgery. To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002