Now in fact, Millions of people throughout the world are using pedometers to count their steps. Health programs around the world have embraced that 10,000 steps per day is the equivalent to a healthy, active lifestyle and gain health benefits.
Walking is a popular physical activity among all age groups in society, particularly among people over 50. Walking offers a simple approach to exercise compared with other activities that require equipment or membership in a gym. People have easy access to walking and can exercise while they walk if the weather does not create hurdles.
Use a treadmill or walk in the mall. A little willingness and determination to focus one’s steps as a means to exercise can help promote health and prevent disease.
There are many potential health benefits of walking as:
- Strengthening muscles,
- Enhances cardiovascular fitness,
- Controls weight,
- Improving regulation of lipids, insulin, and glucose;
- Increases bone density;
- Improves one’s psychological state.
Of course, the frequency and intensity of exercise walking can increase or decrease the likelihood of these health gains, with more vigorous walking of long duration increasing the likelihood of such gains and less-vigorous walking of shorter duration decreasing the likelihood of these gains.
Studies showed that walking less than 30 minutes most days of the week may not enhance cardiovascular fitness.
Steps To Be Considered For Active Lifestyle:
- < 5000 steps per day may be considered a sedentary lifestyle.
- 5000-7499 steps per day is typical of daily activity, excluding sports/exercise, and is considered to be a low-active lifestyle.
- 7500-9999 steps per day is likely to include physical activities in addition to normal daily activities and is considered to be a somewhat active lifestyle.
- >= 10,000 steps per day is considered t be an active lifestyle.
- >12500 steps per day is considered to be a highly active lifestyle.
10000 steps per day may be too much for some seniors and too little for many children.
Exercise walking has remained the number one exercise participation. Exercise with equipment was the number two exercise participation activity, and swimming was number three.
Why Japanese People Are Fit Without Going To Gym:
In Japan who is a leader in longevity and has a very low rate of obesity — the least among high-income developed nations at 4.3% — There is not much of a workout culture in Japan. People don’t have a membership in a gym. People would rarely use their lunch break for a gym session.
In a survey of 1000 Japanese citizens ages 20 to their 60s, about half of those questioned revealed that they barely exercised, about once a month or not at all. People don’t have enough time or simply don’t like exercising that much, most people just didn’t see working out as part of their lifestyle.
What Exercise Looks Like in Japan
If you take a closer look at what exercise means to Japanese people, you’ll find that exercise equates to working out. But perhaps exercise can take on forms that aren’t necessarily about going to a gym and lifting weights, or going on 10km runs.
Namely, perhaps the exercise we need is the kind of exercise that is weaved into our lifestyle: walking
What the above results show is not that exercise isn’t important to be healthy, but that in Japan’s approach to moving, perhaps most don’t see it as exercise.
Japanese adults walk an average of 6500 steps a day, with male adults in their 20s to 50s walking nearly 8000 steps a day on average, and women in their 20s to 50s about 7000 steps.
Okinawans in particular are well-known for their walking culture, being especially mindful about incorporating movement into their daily lifestyle. Nagano, a rural area in Japan, was able to flip its high stroke rate by incorporating over 100 walking routes, and now its citizens enjoy the high rate of longevity in the country.
The first thing we wanted was just to get people walking. Everyone can do that. You walk, you talk, you get exercise and that helps build up a sense of community,”
Most Japanese citizens live in very walkable cities where public transportation is convenient, safe, and affordable, and not many people own cars. As a consequence,
- when most people go to work, they walk.
- When people go grocery shopping, they walk.
- When people are going out for dinner, they walk.
It’s an activity adopted every day by every generation:
walking is a part of daily life like breathing is.
It can make us believe that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is only available to the dedicated ones who consistently lift weights and are making enough time for daily runs.
Instead what this shows is that, like how eating healthfully doesn’t need to be eating only salads, healthful exercise doesn’t need to be only working out — the lifestyle fitness you need may just be in a bit more walking.
Psychological Benefits of Walking through Forest Areas:
Psychological benefits of a brief walk through forest areas. In addition, to examine the associations between psychological responses and trait anxiety levels. Five-hundred-and-eighty-five participants (mean age, 21.7 ± 1.6 years) were instructed to walk predetermined courses through the forest (test) and city (control) areas for 15 min. The Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were used to assess participants’ psychological responses and trait anxiety levels, respectively.
Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between participants’ trait anxiety levels and their chances in the subscale of “depression-dejection” of POMS after walking through forest areas. A more effective reduction in the feeling of “depression-dejection” after walking through forest areas was observed for participants with high trait anxiety levels than for those with normal and low trait anxiety levels.
This study showed the psychological benefits of walking through forest areas and identified a significant correlation between psychological responses to walking through forests and trait anxiety levels.
How Walking Controls Blood Sugar :
When you do moderate exercise, like walking, that makes your heart beat a little faster and breathe a little harder. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your bloodstream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better A study published today in Diabetes Care found that three short walks each day after meals were as effective at reducing blood sugar over 24 hours as a single 45-minute walk at the same moderate pace.
Why walking is good for the mind?
“Walking encourages our brain to release endorphins, a neurotransmitter that boosts our mental health.” Now, a new study published in the scientific journal Neuroimage sheds fresh light on how walking is so effective at improving your cognitive function and your memory as you grow older.