Today I am celebrating 24 years since I had open heart surgery. Yes!
Walking is a really personal gift to me. What do I mean? After my surgery, I asked my Cardiologist, “what type of exercise can I do?” He recommended that I walk, which seemed easy enough to do.
However, the truth was, after the surgery I did not have the strength to walk across a street by myself. At that point, I promised myself and the forces that guide us that if given the future opportunity to walk, I would make sure to honor that ability.
Many years/steps later, I have tried to accomplish stepping to the tune of 10,000 steps a day, which turns out to be approximately 5 miles for most people (30 minutes of exercise).
Sooner or later in life, if you live long enough, there will be changes/challenges that you will need to confront and overcome.
With that said, , a visit where my chiropractor informed me that I should not try to accomplish this 10,000 steps as day task in one exercise routine because it is not helping the issues I have with my back. He suggested that I walk half as many steps in one session. I was truly concerned. How would I accomplish my 10,000 steps a day???
I was encouraged by a recent New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds. Her research revealed there is no scientific evidence connected with the 10,000 steps a day standard. In fact, the 10,000 steps standard started in the 1960’s where a Japanese pedometer name translated as 10,000 steps. This coincidence established that guideline.
The good news is that a new study conducted by Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of Medicine at Harvard University, which collected data tracking the steps of older women (median age 72), showed that reducing the walk to 4,500 steps a day gives women 40 percent more chance of longevity, than women taking 2,700 steps a day. Other key things to note are speed walking is not a requirement, strolling is OK. Only the number of steps per day was studied. Results showed that this regimen of 4,500 steps per day advanced the well-being for women in the study. Men were not included in this study.
With these findings, I was relieved to know that it is “moving” that is important. Steps are a pretty easy way to get that done. So, let’s keep “moving”, and do our best to appreciate the opportunity we have to walk. As you know, I consider it a privilege. Let’s get stepping!