A study, published in JAMA, challenges the conventional belief that achieving 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week requires daily workouts. Analyzing data from 3,101 adults, the research found that walking 8,000 steps once or twice a week provided cardiovascular benefits and lowered mortality rates similarly to daily walkers. Despite limitations like a focus solely on step counts, the study suggests that consistent yet limited physical activity can offer meaningful health benefits. Experts emphasize the positive impact of even small amounts of exercise on cardiovascular health and overall well-being. The study aligns with recommendations to combat sedentary lifestyles, advocating for regular, moderate exercise as a means to achieve substantial health benefits. While there are no official step count guidelines, accumulating evidence supports the idea that incorporating movement, even in smaller increments, contributes to improved health outcomes. Individuals are encouraged to find manageable ways to stay active, recognizing that small, consistent efforts can lead to positive health outcomes.
The gym is an excellent place to rack up those steps and boost your fitness. Treadmills are an obvious choice—you can set the speed and incline to simulate various terrains. If you prefer a change of scenery, elliptical machines offer a low-impact option, engaging both your arms and legs. Group fitness classes, especially dance or step aerobics, can be a fun way to add steps while following an instructor. Even during strength training, between sets, consider pacing or walking around the gym to keep your steps going. Gyms offer diverse opportunities to step up your step count!
- Niels A. Stens, Esmée A. Bakker, Asier Mañas, Laurien M. Buffart, Francisco B. Ortega, Duck-chul Lee, Paul D. Thompson, Dick H.J. Thijssen, Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels. Relationship of Daily Step Counts to All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Events. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2023; 82 (15): 1483 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2023.07.029