For Women: Are 10,000 Steps a Day Necessary?

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!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/well/move/even-one-extra-walk-a-day-may-make-a-big-difference.html

 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/walking/why-is-walking-the-most-popular-form-of-exercise

Stepping Seniors Formula for Best Walking

I am happy to report that finally there is a formula that can help us calculate our “brisk” walking exercise to give us the best health benefits!

Brisk” walking can now be calculated with a simple formula of  100 steps per minute!   For seniors it’s a good way to have in mind a way to calculate if our walking exercise will be beneficial.  For those of us 60 years of age or older, we may need to add more steps to this formula to satisfy the requirement, but this is a good start. And, of course, we can now go beyond 100 steps.  Presently, the federal guidelines advises 30 minutes of brisk walking.  That translates into 3,000 steps at the pace of 100 steps-per-minute. For those of you who want a more challenging exercise, you can try 130 steps per minute.

The study was conducted  by Catrine Tudor Locke, a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  You can read about the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  It turns out that walking is the most common form of exercise.  So, feel free to continue to use your feet to do just that.

Let’s keep moving seniors

Read details ⇒ Source: https://www.nytimes.com/section/well/move

 

 

Tweaking Your Workout Activity

I realize that many of us are not  revved up about getting to a 30 minute exercise class, or walking continuously for 30 minutes.  In addition, many seniors do not have the extra income required to spend  on a health club membership.

I was encouraged by a  recent study, which finds that continuous activity is not a requirement to attain the benefits of exercise.  That is to say, you do not have to workout 30 minutes at a time to gain the health benefits! You can actually accumulate those 30 minutes of activity 10 minutes at a time.

The latest studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association are summarized below:
Movement strongly influenced longevity. Men and women who exercised fewer than 20 minutes a day, were at the highest risk of premature death.  Those who moved more often, especially if they were active in a day, cut their mortality risk in half”. Continue reading “Tweaking Your Workout Activity”