Wear your walking shoes, and don't leave home without your step counter. You can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and premature death by walking up to 10,000 feet a day. But any amount helps, according a recent study.
The average person gain between 0.5 and 1 kilogram (0.5 to 2 pounds) per year, from early adulthood to middle age. This leads to an increase in weight that can lead to obesity.
"People can really reduce their obesity risk by walking more," said Dr. Evan Brittain. He is an associate professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, in the division for cardiovascular medicine.
Brittain, via email, said that the study found benefits with increased steps for people suffering from chronic conditions and diseases.
He said that the relationship between hypertension and diabetes peaked after approximately 8,000-9,000 steps, but all other relationships were linear. This means that higher steps continue to reduce risk. I would say the main message is that taking more steps is better.
Another study shows the impact walking and other forms exercise has on our health. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by moving for 21,43 minutes every day, your risk of death from any cause is reduced by one third.
Adults are currently recommended to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, including brisk walking or dancing, as well as bicycling, water aerobics, doubles tennis, and water aerobics. They should also perform two days of muscle strengthening activity.
In an earlier interview, Dr. Andrew Freeman of National Jewish Health Denver's director of cardiovascular preventive and wellness, said: "Physical exercise is absolutely wonderful."
Freeman explained that combining this with a plant-based diet and de-stressing techniques, as well as sleeping enough, connecting with others, is the magic formula. It's like the fountain of youthfulness, if you want to call it that.
Reduce obesity with more steps
The study examined an average of four-years of health and activity data collected from over 6,000 participants of the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program. This program is dedicated to researching ways to improve individualized healthcare.
The study was published in Nature Medicine on 10 October 2022. Participants wore activity trackers for at least 10 hours per day, and gave researchers access to electronic health records over a period of several years.
Our study consisted of an average of four years of continuous monitoring of activity. We were able account for all activity between the time monitoring began and the diagnosis of a disease, which was a huge advantage, because unlike previous studies we did not have to make assumptions regarding activity over time.
The study included people aged 41-67, with a body mass index ranging from 24,3, which is considered healthy, to 32,9, which is obese.
Researchers found that those who walk 4 miles per day (about 8,200 steps) were less likely than others to suffer from sleep disorders, such as acid reflux or major depression disorder. Weight loss can help with sleep apnea, acid reflux, and depression.
In addition, the study found that participants with BMIs between 25 and 29 could reduce their risk of obesity by half by increasing their daily steps to 11,000 per day. The study concluded that 'this increase of step counts resulted to a 50% decrease in cumulative incidences of obesity after 5 years'.
The authors found that individuals with a BMI of 28 could reduce their risk of being obese by 64% if they increased the number of steps taken per day from 6,000 to 11,000.
What are the benefits of 10,000 Steps?
The study concluded that health benefits increased with each step but peaks at 10,000 steps. After this, they fade. It is important to count steps for those who engage in unstructured and unplanned activities such as gardening, housework, or dog walks.
The study's co-author Borja delPozo Cruz is an adjunct associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark Odense in Denmark and a senior researcher in the health sciences department of the University of Cadiz, Spain.
Del Pozo Cruz's team published a study similar to this one recently, which found that walking 10,000 steps per day reduced dementia risk by 50%. According to a previous study, the risk of dementia decreased by 50% with just 3,800 steps per day.
If walking at 112 steps per minute was done for 30 minutes it would maximize risk reduction and lead to a 62% decrease in dementia risk. It was not necessary to walk for 30 minutes at a fast pace. The walking could be done over a period of time.
Researchers found that the relationship between peak 30-minute step count and reduced risk of disease was dependent on the disease studied.
Researchers found that there was also a link between step intensity, and the health benefits, although it was less consistent than step counts.
"But in truth, it's always been the same: challenge yourself no matter what fitness level you are at. You should always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Your goal is to be breathless every day for 30 minutes.