Walking Your Way to Good Health

A recent research study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise proved once again that walking can be an excellent way for many of us to stay in shape and reduce our risk of deadly diseases like diabetes and heart disease. 80 women between the ages of 40 and 66 participated in the study, which looked at the correllation between obesity and daily walking and activity measured by using a pedometer. The study showed that middle aged women who took at least 10,000 steps a day averaged 26% bodyfat, an admirably low measurement, compared to inactive women who took less than 6000 steps a day and had, on average, 44% bodyfat- placing them in the very obese category. The study classified those participants who took less than 6000 steps as inactive, 6000-9999 as somewhat active, and 10,000 and more as active. Where do you think you fall in these categories? The only way to tell is to purchase a pedometer and measure the total number of steps you take in a day by wearing the pedometer all day.

 Using a pedometer can be fun and rewarding, and setting a goal to increase daily steps as you become fitter and more active is a great way to keep your fitness regimen fresh and exciting. Even McDonalds has jumped on the bandwagon, offering “Stepometers” with their Happy Meals for adults. Pedometers are easy to use and inexpensive to buy. Some pedometers calculate calories burned as well as steps taken and total distance travelled, but there are limitations to their accuracy- so read the directions carefully prior to use. This study, we well as others previously published, seems to suggest that taking over 10,000 steps a day is a goal we should all strive for!