Which is better: walking fast or taking 10,000 steps a day?


A new study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, compares the health benefits of so-called ‘power walking’ against the popular recommendation of Japanese doctor Yoshiro Hatano.

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Legend has it that, alarmed by the growing problem of obesity, Yoshiro Hatano, a Japanese doctor, realized that people barely took 5,000 steps a day and he thought that if he doubled that distance, obviously, he would also be able to double his caloric expenditure and, therefore, keep the scale at bay.

Since then, in the mid-1960s, the recommendation to reach those 10,000 daily steps (some eight kilometers) to enjoy good health became a ‘mantra’ for millions of people around the world who found in it both the incentive they needed to move like the ‘excuse’ to not go to the gym.

Encouraged by a whole new generation of activity measuring devices, taking those 10,000 steps, with undeniable physical and mental benefits, became the most popular ‘sports’ challenge until a studycarried out by researchers from the University of Warwick (England) and published in March 2017 in ‘The International Journal of Obesity’, concluded that those 10,000 steps were not enough, that you have to take… 15,000!

Made taking as a sample postmen or delivery men from glasgow (Scotland) that they walked more than three hours a day as part of their routine, this research revealed that employees who walked their daily route and spent less time sitting had a better physical condition. They all gave 15,000 steps -about 11 kilometers- a day, at least.


Obviously, the proponents of walking as physical activity more than valid to stay in a state of acceptable shape (Like it or not, you have to give strength routines and work on flexibility, mobility and balance), they have always warned that walking at the pace of window shopping, even if it counts as movement, does not score the same, that to obtain substantial benefits there are what to put cane: fast walking, high and moderate intensity intervals and, if possible, go through hilly circuits that make us work more intensely both cardiovascularly and muscularly.

walk faster and, if possible, with adequate muscle activation (abdomen, buttocks and even arms) is precisely the philosophy of the so-called ‘power walking’a discipline with an increasingly popular pull as a method to exercise physically and mentally (beware, because practicing with friends is a more than effective therapy).

So what are we left with? 10,000 steps daily or with him ‘power walking’? Are both equally good for health or does one of them have more benefits than the other? Well, those are precisely the questions that have been answered by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney (Australia) and the University of Southern Denmark in the largest study made to date on the matter.

Posted in JAMA Internal Medicine Y JAMA Neurologyin this research it has been highlighted that, indeed, completing these 10,000 steps a day reduces the risk of dementia, heart disease, and some types of cancerreducing the chances of dying from any of these causes.

After monitoring 78,500 adultsit was observed that only by giving 2,000 steps a day reduced the risk of premature death by 8%. I also know Similar associations were seen for cardiovascular disease and cancer incidence; and a higher number of steps per day was associated with a lower risk of dementia for any reason (the optimal dose would be 9,800 steps).

However, and here comes the crux of the matter, these scientists were able to verify that walking a faster pacelike the one reached in the ‘power walking‘, is more interesting, from the point of view of the benefits it brings, than giving those 10,000 steps recommended. “The final message here is that, for protective benefits For health, people not only have to aspire to that ideal of taking 10,000 steps a day, but also to walk faster“, says Matthew Ahmadi, co-lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Sydney.

Source: www.elmundo.es

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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