Written by KURA Writer- Rylee Nelson
Do you think of walking when you think about improving your health and reducing disease risk? If not, this guide will help you become more aware of the benefits of getting your daily steps in and ways to incorporate them into your daily routine. It’s helpful to track your steps, so you know the exact amount and can set personal goals. You can track your steps through apps or by using a pedometer.
A study done by the American Heart Association in 2022 concluded that taking more steps daily decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults (AHA, 2022). Another study done by JAMA Internal Medicine in 2019 explored the connection between walking and lower mortality rates in older adults. They compared two groups, people that walked an average of 2,700 steps per day and people that walked an average of 4,400 steps per day for a little over four years. The people who walked an average of 4,400 steps daily had significantly lower mortality rates. They also found that the more steps added on top of the 4,400 average, the lower the mortality rates became until 7,500 steps per day when they stopped noticing it decrease (I-Min Lee, 2019). Ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine include:
● Walk around the house
● Walk in malls or shopping centers
● Walk with friends or family
● Join a walking group or club
● Listen to a podcast or audiobook while walking
● Schedule your walking time each day
If you want to incorporate walking into your daily routine, you can start small and gradually increase your walking time and distance. Anything is better than nothing, so try not to feel discouraged if you cannot get up to 7,500 because 4,400 average daily steps have been proven to provide health benefits. Instead of trying to walk for an extended period all at once, you can break up your walking sessions throughout the day. For example, you could take a ten-minute walk after breakfast, a fifteen-minute walk after lunch, and another ten-minute walk after dinner. This way, you can accumulate your daily step counts without putting too much time in all at once, which can help keep you motivated. It’s never too late to start a walking routine, so take that first step, go on a walk and track your steps.
I-Min Lee, M. B. B. S. (2019, August 1). Association of STEP volume and intensity with all-cause mortality in older women. JAMA Internal Medicine. Retrieved April 12, 2023, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2734709
Paluch, A. E. (2022, December 20). Prospective association of daily steps with cardiovascular disease: A Harmonized Meta-Analysis. Circulation. Retrieved April 13, 2023, from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061288