You must have heard that walking 10,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of several diseases, and improve your physical and mental health. However, a new study has found that you might only need to walk 4,000 steps a day to live longer by reducing the risk of several diseases. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how many steps you should walk every day, you need to know the benefits of walking and why it’s considered one of the best exercises for longevity.
Walking is a great way to improve your overall health, which includes your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that walking every day can even extend your life and reduce the risk of several diseases, by boosting your energy and mood. Some studies suggest that if you walk regularly and at a good pace, it might be the only aerobic exercise you would need to stay healthy and live longer.
How many steps a day should I walk?
If you have been walking 10,000 steps every day in the hope to live a longer and healthier life, you can reduce that number. A new study has found that walking 4,000 steps would also do the job. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that you might not need 10,000 steps to increase longevity. It was also found that walking only 3,967 steps a day can lower your risk of dying from any cause. It was also found that walking 2,337 steps a day can also reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.
Also Read: Is 10,000 steps a day the right fitness target for you? The answer might surprise you!
For the study, the researchers evaluated the health information of 226,889 individuals from 17 different studies for more than 7 years. They found that increasing the number of steps by 1000 was linked to a 15 percent reduced risk of death from any cause and increasing the number of steps by 500 reduced the risk of heart problems by 7 percent. The study concluded that walking as many as 4,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of dying and walking 2,500 steps a day can improve one’s health.
Walking is better than living a sedentary lifestyle
One of the biggest reasons for developing any disease or dying at a young age is living a sedentary lifestyle. Even if you don’t get time to join a gym or do other forms of exercise, you can try walking every day. Walking as a form of exercise can help you a lot if you are eating healthy. Plus, it has been proven to be one of the best aerobic exercises to increase longevity by keeping your overall health in check. Here are some of the benefits of walking you should know that will improve your chances to live a longer and healthier life:
1. Keeps weight in check
As per research conducted by researchers at Harvard, walking briskly for about an hour a day can help reduce the risk of obesity by half. Another study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that walking can help you burn calories and reduce the problems associated with obesity.
Also Read: Wish to burn more calories? 5 hacks to turn your walk into a workout
2. Boosts immunity
Do you get a cold or flu often? People with weak immunity tend to get sick frequently. Being physically active can help you reduce those risks. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of brisk walking can reduce inflammation and help in the regeneration of the immune cells, hence boosting your immunity.
3. Reduces joint pain
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that walking slows down the rate of bone loss in the legs. Walking also protects the joints by strengthening the muscles, particularly the knees, and hips, which generally makes you more prone to osteoarthritis.
4. Lowers the risk of dementia
Dementia is believed to be one of the leading causes of death among women. While walking is not a magic pill that will ward off every disease, it can definitely help lower the risk to a certain extent. As per a study by researchers at Harvard Health, people who walked more were at a lower risk of developing dementia.
Also Read: 7 lifestyle changes to help reduce your dementia risk
5. Alleviates heart disease risk
Did you know heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in the world? Studies have shown that walking can reduce the risk of heart disease. Walking only 3,867 steps a day may reduce the risk of you dying due to cardiovascular disease.
Whether you want to stick to 10,000 steps a day or just take 4000 steps a day, the focus should be to reduce the risk of developing unwanted diseases. Make sure you are incorporating some sort of physical activity in your daily regimen to keep your overall health in check.