A daily step count, what exactly is it and why might it hold some significance with regard to our health and wellbeing? In this article I hope to break down the importance of a step count and why it can be quite a significant tool when it comes to our health and fitness whether that be weight loss, muscle gain or even maintaining and improving our cardiovascular health.
So what exactly is a daily step count? For those who might not know, it simply refers to the amount of steps we take each day! Steps can be done under several conditions whether that be inside or outside, at a certain speed, under a time limit, etc. The possibilities are endless, as too are the benefits! So what makes this step count such an important tool to keep in our arsenal when it comes to our goals?
One of the key elements I look at when I look at someone’s plan of action when it comes to improving their health and fitness. If it isn’t sustainable, the probability that you will struggle to maintain the newly acquired regime begins to dwindle. This is what makes the daily step count so significant! For the majority of people, an 8-10 thousand step count can easily be applied as a surefire way of increasing someone’s physical activity on a consistent basis.
The benefits of a step count are due to the physical and cardiovascular output required; this is said to help conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease. To drive this further we could opt to increase difficulty by setting distance or time based goals while also making sure that our heart rate remains at around 130 – 150 bpm throughout the course of activity. The best way to track this will be a smart watch of some kind which can be purchased from most electrical stores!
Weight loss and functional status
The increase in physical activity will also result in a higher energy output meaning we will burn more calories. This makes a step count quite an important habit for someone looking to lose weight. This increase in activity also lends itself largely to the functional status of an individual. Especially as we age, remaining active and moving more are what is going to aid us in maintaining our independence, mobility and overall – independence, to a degree!
Research points towards a daily step count of 10,000 steps (which equates to approximately 8km) being the magic number when it comes to reaching the required activity level and its benefits among most of the general population. This number can be broken down into smaller walks throughout your day and can be blended with the steps acquired as you complete any other daily tasks. Recording our steps on our phone and/or fitness tracker while making a conscious effort to hit our goal each day is really how simple this is. Putting time aside each day to go for a brisk walk to achieve a portion of your daily step target will soon be an easy habit to maintain once you get started!
“Baby steps count, as long as you are going forward. You add them all up, and one day you look back and you’ll be surprised at where you might get to.” Chris Gardner
Lastly, I would also like to clarify that I am not a registered dietician. All advice disclosed here is simply advisory based on my qualifications as a fitness professional and personal experience and knowledge gained working with individuals and helping them reach their goals. The advice given is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
Article written by Cashel ~ instagram @coachedbycashel_