What is the Right Step Count for You?
Fitness apps and pedometers are easier to find than ever, whether using a smartwatch, wearable tracker, and more. Most new smartphones even come preloaded with basic health-tracking and pedometer apps, so there’s almost always one in your pocket. No matter which you choose, the apps almost universally suggest a 10,000 steps a day goal on their pedometer, which for most people, translates to roughly five miles. While this may seem simple for those already fairly active, or who may have a job that requires a lot of walking such as a nurse, it is quite the distance for most people to try and achieve on a daily basis. Plus, those pre-loaded numbers are a general goal to reach for, not necessarily what you should be doing right away. Rather than set yourself up for failure, it’s essential to figure out where your ideal starting point is and determine what truly is the right step count for you.
What is your baseline?
Before you set any goals, you need to know where you start. The average American adult walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day, according to Medical News Today. Depending on several factors, you may need to start slow and work your way toward your goals. If your baseline is around 3,000 steps, your next day’s goal should not immediately be 10,000. Instead, try to add 500 each day until you reach your goal.
What is a good goal?
While 10,000 steps isn’t unhealthy, it might not be right for you. The number is derived from a variety of factors, including average length of steps and how long the average person should be active. In fact, part of the reasoning behind the 10,000 steps is that the number was easy to remember and looked good. In fact, the average length of time that you are active might be more important than counting steps. You should be reaching 150 active minutes per week, and any type of activity counts toward this. If you only walked 10,000 steps a day in one week, then you would reach roughly 150 minutes of activity. If you do other types of exercise, then you shouldn’t worry too much about that 10,000 steps.
What else should you factor in?
Age and overall health also factor in to what your step goal should be. Older adults had a lower average than the 3,000 to 4,000 steps. Your overall health and ability will play a part in determining your goals, too. In addition, any other activity you do should be considered. You don’t want to overextend yourself or overwhelm yourself with goals that might be a little out of reach. On the other hand, you should be challenging yourself. Just keep it attainable.
Before getting started on your health goals, it’s important to make sure your body is ready. Visit us at any of our convenient area locations today for a comprehensive physical or any of our other offered services. We’ll help you figure out exactly where you need to start so you can achieve your goals safely.