There are lots of theories regarding Manpo-Kei whether you realize that you’ve heard them or not. Basically it refers to the first pedometer created to track steps, 10,000 of them. With the shift in health over the last 10 years and the explosion of fitness tracking, everyone is telling you to get 10,000 steps each and every day. Does it even matter? I’ll break down what I’ve found and explain how I’ve been approaching this little health riddle.
Science Behind 10,000
Depending on where you look, you will get conflicting stories about 10,000. Originally the number came from the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics (BBC.com Story). A Japanese Scientist felt that people were becoming too sedentary and created the first pedometer to try and encourage people to increase their activity. He felt that if people walked a little more (4,000 to 10,000 steps daily) they could burn 500 more calories a day which would equate to a pound a week.
Is 10,000 Enough?
The question though is, “Are 10,000 steps enough?” Hmm. That’s a difficult question. After all, not all steps are created equal. A slow meandering walk will burn calories, but a light jog will burn more. Start that sprint and you can burn maximum calories. Still, 10,000 is a good place to start as long as you don’t stop moving the second you get to that number. Therein lies the danger of this two-edged sword. A goal to achieve or a ceiling. There is even research that suggests that you should really be aiming for a number in the range of 15,000 steps (Health.com).
I have been very inconsistent of late getting workouts in, but there has been one thing I have fought very hard for. Since being challenged by @CanuckCoach to hit 10,000 in November I have been on a roll. What kind of roll? 22 straight days as of this writing. There have been nights where I’ve been close and had to make a conscious effort to get out and get steps. You know you are committed when you have friends visiting, you are having drinks and suggest going for a quick walk. If everything holds up and I can get to 30 consecutive days, I will increase my step goal by 1,000. 30 days later another 1,000 (assuming I am still on target)
Now regardless of your number, 5,000 or 20,000 the point of these goals is just to get you moving. As a society we are spending way more time sitting then those before us and we have to find ways to get moving. Pick a number to start and start trying to hit it. If you are finding it too easy, bump it up. Keep going until you have to work to get there. A small investment everyday can pay big dividends later in life.
How’s your #Challenge going? I’ve been struggling, but slowly chipping away. This is going to be one of those that you can’t complete if you wait until the last three days. Get some time logged every day in the plank (high or low) to get your 60 minutes for December.