11 reasons for walking 10.000 steps daily and more stress-relieving tips
Walking 10.000 steps daily improves our well-being and our health. Why we should also move more and how you can make it work in everyday life, you will find out here.
On average, we do not walk 5.000 steps a day. Depending on our job, this number can vary widely. Worse off are those who work in the office. However, for almost everyone else, there is still room for improvement, as well.
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How many miles are 10.000 steps?
Exercise in everyday life has many positive effects. We should walk 10.000 steps a day. This corresponds, depending on body size and stride, to a distance of approximately 5 miles. What I mean is not the classic Sunday stroll through the forest, but exercise in everyday life. This concerns couch potatoes as well as athletes.
According to a Swedish study, one hour of fitness a day does not do much if you spend the remaining hours inactive. In order to benefit from exercise and sports, your muscles should be constantly stressed.
The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a movement of one to two hours a day. You can divide this time, being mindful to always move at least ten minutes at a time.
Why should we walk 10.000 steps?
The idea of 10,000 steps a day originally came from a marketing campaign in 1964. It was the time when Japan hosted the Olympic Games.
Influenced by the atmosphere of the summer games, the Japanese wanted to measure their own athleticism with a pedometer.
To stand out from the competition, the Japanese company Yamasa Tokei gave their pedals the sonorous name Man-Po-Kei. Literally translated, the name meant “10.000-step counter”.
Certainly, it does not mean that you have to crack this amount of distance each day. Even health science studies that confirm the magic of the 10.000 are still missing.
However, it is clear that enough exercise is important for our body and mind. The 5 miles per day provide a good guideline to which you can orientate yourself.
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Walking 5 miles daily increases our well-being.
The skeleton and muscles need exercise to help the body feel good and work properly. In particular, the cardiovascular system and metabolism are properly activated in this way. But there are even more reasons to walk long distances every day.
So, here are some main reasons why 10.000 steps will do your body good:
1- A sitting position often weakens the back muscles. Walking, jogging, running or hiking helps to strengthen the muscles as well as to prevent or relieve pain.
2- Walking daily increases our physical fitness. We feel fitter and more resilient.
3- Especially the movement in the fresh air strengthens our immune system in all months of the year.
4- If you move regularly, you are preventing or relieving body aches.
5- How many calories do you burn with 10.000 steps? Depending on your speed, your own fitness and weight, you burn about 2,000 to 3,500 calories a week. In addition, walking stimulates fat metabolism. In this way, you prevent obesity, and you can even lose excess pounds.
6- When you move sufficiently, you reduce the risk of developing diabetes or osteoporosis.
7- A sufficient amount of exercise in everyday life helps to prevent cardiovascular problems.
This is how the movement makes you mentally fit:
Walking long distances also boosts the oxygen supply in the brain. That way you can concentrate better and be more efficient.
Plenty of exercise ensures the release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin.
Thus, your mood enhances, and you may even prevent depression. Through the movement, you can reduce negative emotions and stress.
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How to integrate 5 miles into your everyday life
If you cannot walk or cycle, use public transportation.
Your everyday obligations, probably restrain you timely. Thus, let me tell you how you can manage to integrate walking into your everyday life.
Leave the car parked! Cars emit emissions, generate noise and pollute the environment. In addition, they tempt us to drive short distances, instead of walking them. If distance permits, walk or use the bike.
Access public transport for longer distances. These are not only much more environmentally friendly, but you inevitably take additional steps on the way to or from the stations.
You can easily move more if you do without elevators and escalators. Stair climbing also exercises and tones the gluteus (buttox) muscles.
Do not spend your lunch break in the cafeteria, but out in the fresh air.
A ten-minute walk after the meal does not just stimulate digestion. It, furthermore, supplies the brain with oxygen, so you get fit and strengthened from the break. You will be able to focus much better, again.
Take care of your errands on foot. You can get up to 5 miles a day when you do your shopping without a car.
Take a walk with your friends instead of having a coffee chat at home. By the way, you do not have to do without a coffee to go.
Disposable coffee mugs, however, are a huge environmental sin as they produce more garbage. Reach for a Thermo cup made of sustainable materials. These can be used again and again and look really chic.
Organize to spend more of your leisure time outside. Try walking for 30 minutes a day in nature. That way you have the biggest positive effect on your psyche. Listen to audiobooks or podcasts if just walking is boring.
Walking is definitely a valuable stress-reducer. Since we’re already on that topic, I’d like to throw in a few extra tips to help you calm down and stay healthy.
Do as much as possible in as short a time! “Acceleration” is the name of a phenomenon of our time – what helps against it is called “deceleration”. It brings peace in our everyday life and helps to reduce stress.
It is paradoxical!
Technical inventions such as dishwashers, smartphone apps or timers are supposed to relieve us of work or at least make it easier. One would think that this would give us more time to relax. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case: Because we have more time, we take on more tasks and with it extra stress.
“Acceleration” is the phenomenon of our time
The sociology Hartmut Rosa has defined a term for this phenomenon: “acceleration”. According to him, acceleration is the core element of any modernization – both, blessing and curse, of our time.
1. Say no
Sounds easy, but we often have a hard time to say “no” to the date for the coffee with the parents-in-law if you just have no nerves for it. Sometimes you just do not want to commit to feeding the cat of a friend on the other side of the city, if it is too much for you.
Still, you do it! When we realize that an appointment or a task is stressing us, however, we are not obligated to politeness and are allowed to say friendly “no.”
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2. Use waiting times to breathe deeply
The queue at the supermarket checkout, stuck in traffic on the way home, the delay of the subway – waiting times are hugely stressful for us. This happens because we are calibrated that everything should run fast and we are often in a hurry.
The trouble that arises, however, does not change the situation, it only makes it worse. That’s why we should use this time to breathe deeply.
Concentrate on yourself in such situations. Breathe quietly, sense how you feel, be aware of your emotions and keep in mind that it does not do any good if you get upset about the current situation. You’ll see: time goes by faster and you’re more relaxed.
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3. Digital Detox
The acceleration of our lives is also related to digitization. Digital media exposes us to a regular flood of information, also constant reachability and pressure to miss something. That is, indeed, stressful!
4. Live at the moment
We’re at work on the computer, but our thoughts are somewhere else: out shopping, on Instagram or Facebook. When you realize that your mind is wandering off, try to consciously focus on the present moment.
Where are you now? What do you do? And how do you feel? With a little practice, we can slow down our everyday lives. Simply train to stay within your mind exactly where your body is.
5. Take some time out – or just do nothing
To take a break, you do not have to drive to the other end of the world on vacation. Usually, only one day or even one hour is enough to settle down. Write in a journal, venture out in the fresh air, go hiking or cycling, read an inspirational book, lie down in the bathtub, meditate or just do nothing.
Leave gaps in your calendar for a break from everyday life. Everyone has something else that helps him to relax. The main thing is: Be aware ad keep open spots in your calendar for these breaks. You deserve them!
6. Be mindful
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that originally came from Buddhism. Specifically, it is about experiencing moments consciously and listen to your inner emotions – without any rating or judging.
This reduces stress and slows down your life. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed the positive effect of mindfulness practice on health and well-being.
7. Doing sports
Relieving stress with sports is a tried and tested remedy. To slow down, simple sports such as jogging or our above-mentioned walking are already suitable. Many also rely on holistic sports such as yoga.
They should train the body, mind and soul alike and thereby help to relax. In the end, it does not matter what kind of sport you do, as long as you feel comfortable and focused on exercising.
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Do you know more tips to relieve stress, and have you tried walking 10.000 steps daily? If so, please let us know your experiences and thoughts about it.
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