Theory of 10,000 steps a day: can walking replace the gym?

Traditionally, we start to working on our shape for two reasons:1. We have a vacation soon.
2. Winter holidays and parties are close.

In the remaining time, we find a million excuses:

Not enough money to get a gym membership
I am ashamed to go to group workouts
I have no time to drive to the pool

This interesting oriental technique deprives us of those excuses.

Theory of 10,000 steps was born in Japan in the mid-20th century. Its essence lies in the fact that a person has to do exactly this amount of steps a day for a normal body functioning.

Depending on the height and leg length, it equals about 5-8 km. It doesn’t seem to be an extremely great distance. However, in today’s world of cars and infrastructure, many people don’t walk this distance during the day. Experiments indicate that an average person makes 3 – 5 thousand steps per day.

Interestingly, the original theory was invented by marketers. This was a way to promote pedometers. As the name suggests, these are the devices for counting the number of steps. This marketing move turned into a great success.

  • People quickly bought up the device and began to compete in achieving the coveted “ten”.

Another surprising thing is that the invented theory was tested and confirmed by scientists. From their perspective, 10,000 steps is the optimal distance to walk for daily strengthening your body.

All advantages of walking on foot are countless:

  • Strengthens the respiratory, muscular, cardiovascular system.
  • The activity of the muscles improves the blood flow through the veins. Consequence – the prevention of varicose veins, removing toxins from the body.
  • Benefits of walk for men is related to the fact that it helps remove stagnant processes in the pelvic area.
  • Walking boosts immunity and stamina.
  • Walks give a beneficial effect on the nervous system, reduce stress and improve sleep.

Great news for those who want to lose weight: 15 minute walk at a moderate pace (1.5 km) burn 100 calories.

Besides, this way of burning fat can replace running.

Scientists agree that an hour of intense walk is more useful than half an hour of jogging.

Plus, your knees suffer less when you walk, compared to running.


And yet, how can you cover the treasured 10,000 steps? To get started, answer yourself the question on what your typical day is like. 

For many people, it looks like this:

  1. wake up,
  2. drive to work,
  3. spend 8 hours by the office table,
  4. drive home,
  5. stretch out in front of a TV or get stuck behind a laptop.

This set makes up covers about 3-4 thousand steps. 

Try adding more movement to your classic routine:

  • Go up and down the stairs, avoid elevator. 
  • Try to park a little farther away from work. 
  • If you use public transport, get off a few stops earlier. 
  • Choose a store/bank/workshop, which require you walking at least 10 minutes.

The small things listed would seem unlikely to replace the gym and generally have at least some effect. In fact, it turns out that a few short 5-10 minute walks help cover the cherished 10,000 steps.

You can see for yourself. Today, you do not need to buy a pedometer for such an experiment. Most phones support installation of applications that calculate the distance walked.

Incidentally, it is important to gradually increase the distance, by adding 500 – 1000 steps per week. Too sharp activity can result in pain in your legs and back. This will make it harder to motivate yourself to go an extra kilometer next time.