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6 great benefits of getting more than 8,000 steps each day

walking near water

Plenty of us have heard that we should be targeting 10,000 steps each day. Is this realistic to achieve and what does getting more steps each day even do for you? We’ll have a look the target and the benefits in this articles including what how increased steps can improve your health and overall wellbeing.

While increasing your steps up 8,000 each day can seem like a daunting task, there are many small steps you can take right now to enjoy a more active lifestyle.

10,000 steps each day – Myth or the steps per day holy grail?

Many of us have heard that we need to target 10,000 steps each day. But where did this actually come from and do you need this many steps every day to improve your health? Well, in 2022 a review of multiple studies was undertaken by a group of researchers to find out more. Published in Pubmed, the review of more than 47,000 adults concluded the following for different age groups:

  • People younger than 60: 8,000-10,000 steps per day
  • People over 60: 6,000-8,000 steps per day

The rate at which the risk of all cause mortality plateaus appears to be between these ranges, depending on your age. Considering the reported average steps per day for Australian’s in 2021 was 4,491, increasing daily steps appears to be a great way for us to improve our overall health and wellbeing. So, what are the actual benefits you can expect from walking more every day? Let’s look at 6 key benefits below.

1. Improved cardio vascular health

Walking is a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, and by increasing your daily step count, you can significantly enhance your heart health. Regular physical activity has been extensively studied and proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. When you engage in activities such as walking, your heart rate increases, promoting better circulation and strengthening your cardiovascular system.

In addition, walking can help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels, further reducing the risk of heart disease. It also helps improve the efficiency of your lungs and enhances their capacity to take in oxygen, providing more oxygenated blood to your body.

2. Weight loss management

If you’re looking to shed a few kilo’s or maintain a healthy weight, walking can be an invaluable tool. By increasing your daily step count, you create a calorie deficit, which means you burn more calories than you consume. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, making it an excellent choice for weight loss and weight management.

Furthermore, walking not only burns calories during the activity but also boosts your metabolism, which leads to continued calorie burn even after you finish your walk. Regular walking helps maintain muscle mass while losing fat, preventing muscle loss often associated with rapid weight loss methods. It also improves insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for blood sugar regulation and preventing type 2 diabetes.

3. Reduces stress & anxiety

In our fast-paced and often stressful lives, finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety is crucial. Walking can be a powerful stress-reliever and mood booster. When you walk, your body releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that promote a sense of wellbeing and happiness. Taking a walk during a break in your workday or in a serene natural environment can help clear your mind, reduce stress levels, and improve your overall mood.

Moreover, walking in nature has been shown to have additional psychological benefits. Being in natural surroundings reduces stress levels, improves focus, and enhances feelings of tranquility. It provides an opportunity to disconnect from technology, giving your mind a break from the constant stimulation of screens and digital devices.

4. Extra steps increase energy & productivity

Physical activity has been shown to increase energy levels and improve productivity. By getting more than 8,000 steps every day, you can boost your energy levels and stay more focused and alert throughout the day. Regular exercise stimulates the release of endorphins and increases blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your body, which in turn enhances your overall energy levels and cognitive function.

In addition to the immediate energy boost, walking also improves your stamina over time. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’ll find that daily activities require less effort and leave you feeling less fatigued. This increased energy and productivity can positively impact various aspects of your life, from work performance to personal relationships. If you’re looking for some ways in which you can increase your steps each day, check out these 9 simple tips.

5. Improves sleep quality

Many people struggle with sleep issues, such as difficulty falling asleep or poor sleep quality. Regular physical activity has been proven to improve sleep quality and help individuals fall asleep more quickly. By incorporating more steps into your day, you can experience the benefits of improved sleep. Exercise helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle and promotes relaxation, allowing you to enjoy a more restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.

Not only does walking help you fall asleep faster, but it also promotes deeper sleep, reducing the frequency of waking up during the night. It can also alleviate symptoms of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Improved sleep quality leads to better overall health and wellbeing, including enhanced cognitive function, mood stability, and immune system function.

6. Stronger bones & muscles

Walking is a weight-bearing activity, meaning it puts pressure on your bones and muscles, which stimulates them to become stronger. By increasing your daily step count, you can help improve your overall strength and reduce your risk of conditions like osteoporosis. Regular walking also enhances joint flexibility and stability, promoting healthy bone density and muscle tone.

Additionally, walking can help prevent age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. It strengthens the muscles in your lower body, including the calves, quadriceps, and glutes. By maintaining strong muscles, you enhance your balance, coordination, and overall physical performance, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

In conclusion, increasing your daily step count to more than 8,000 steps can have numerous positive effects on your health and wellbeing. From improved cardiovascular health and weight management to stress reduction and better sleep quality, walking offers a wide range of benefits. It’s a simple yet effective way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and pave the way for a healthier and happier life. So lace up your shoes and start stepping towards a better you!

Looking for some more information on this? Check out this great video from Jordan Syatt

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