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June 9, 2011

10,000 Steps a Day for 90 days?

I've probably bitten of more than I can chew but I've signed up for my company's 10K per day challenge. Starting next Weds. and through mid-Sept. Encouragement welcome and maybe a few fun comments from the peanut gallery as well. I'll be tweeting and blogging about this all summer.

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Who Says 10,000 Steps a Day?

How many steps do most people take daily, and how many are needed for good health? I had no idea how many I take and thought it would be interesting and prudent to find out. And who is right about exercise, Mark Twain or the Earl of Derby?

I discovered it was the Japanese who came up with the figure of 10,000, and there's nothing magic about it. Rather, the number was used as a smart marketing device in a campaign to sell pedometers. But even though it was a smart sales move, medical authorities have agreed the proposed Japanese figure of 10,000 steps is a healthy number to aim for. But it does mean walking a hefty five miles each day.

My next question was how many calories does 10,000 steps burn up? Let's say you've just enjoyed a lunch of a double burger, fries and a sugar-loaded 10-ounce soft drink. This packs a caloric wallop of about 1,700 calories.

That's when the pedometer sends bad news. You will be surprised at the small number of calories you've burned up after a brisk walk. For instance, a 150-pound person, after five miles of moderate walking, loses only 500 calories. And it takes one hour of moderate walking to consume the energy of one jelly-filled doughnut.


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