With the birth of fitness trackers like Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin… it seems a new phenomenon has arrived that means getting your 10,000 steps in each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

But why 10,000?

What’s the significance of this number?

In truth, there is no significance.

It seems that 10,000 is an arbitrary number, but that doesn’t make it invalid and the idea isn’t new. It originated from a Japanese walking campaign in the mid 1960’s and the number was chosen at random because 10,000 steps a day seemed indicative to a healthy lifestyle.

Every body is different and walking 10,000 steps each day will burn different calorie amounts for each person depending on age, weight and level of activity, among other factors, but it is still a good goal to keep your daily activity up.

When you are new to physical activity, it’s important to start slow. If you are used to walking 3,000 or 4,000 steps each day, you don’t want to immediately jump to 10,000. Add an extra 500 steps each week and work your way up. When setting goals, it’s important to keep them small and tangible so you don’t get overwhelmed and throw in the towel.

Here are a 8 simple ways you can add extra steps into your day.

  • Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator
  • Park at the back of the parking lot when you go to the store
  • If you live within walking distance to the store, bring your backpack for those smaller shopping trips and leave the car at home
  • Encourage your family to take an after-dinner stroll with you
  • Make your next team meeting a walking meeting
  • March in place while brushing your teeth
  • Take the dogs for an extra mid-afternoon walk
  • Next time your kid is at their sports practice, walk the block or around the field

Remaining active throughout the day is beneficial to cardiovascular health. Engaging your body at intervals throughout the day will combat the ill effects of sitting at your desk all day or in front of the TV at night. Getting in your 10,000 steps is an excellent marker but it is not the complete target for fitness. For a complete fitness program, you will need to incorporate resistance training and healthy eating. If you’re looking for a complete program and the support and guidance to stay with it and enjoy it, then check out our Personal Training Group program for women in San Diego.

Question: What’s your favorite way to add more steps to your day?