Tuesday, June 07, 2005

10,000 steps a day keep the doctor away

In Japan, the pedometer is a widely used little device—not just among what we'd call "fitness buffs," but even among the sort of ordinary, fitness-conscious (but not fanatical) folks who've never set foot in a gym. It seems to be common knowledge there that the magic number is 10,000: Walking at least 10,000 steps a day is a given for maintaining good health. (In fact, the Japanese word for pedometer, manpokei, literally means "ten-thousand-step measurer.")

This article on MSNBC , written by registered dietitian Karen Collins, states that 10,000 steps is now considered a good daily exercise goal: If, by the end of the day, you've walked that many paces, whether at home, at work, or going from one to the other, you've met an important goal and deserve a pat on the back (and a nice cup of Mellow Monk green tea).

As for specific exercise goals, many health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other activity each day. But one study described in the article found that a pedometer was an easier way of keeping track of one's daily progress than following a "time goal," especially when spreading a daily workout over several separate exercise opportunities throughout the day.

—Mellow Monk

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