In Germany, the soles are running hot. Many people have a common goal: 10,000 steps a day. The pedometers are also busy turning. We asked a sports expert what was wrong with the new hype and whether we had to feel guilty with fewer steps.
If you were counting calories recently, there are now steps. Even people who are not very motivated to move and sentences like “I will come later, I still have 3,000 steps missing” are no longer surprising. If you enter the keyword “10,000 steps” on Google, you will find more than half a million search results. Every step makes us healthier, so the hardworking marchers believe.
Exercise strengthens our health
Professor Christine Graf from the Department of Exercise and Health Promotion at the Institute for Exercise and Neuroscience at the German Sport University Cologne also agrees. “Exercise is a ‘panacea’,” said the expert. “Not only running, but movement in general ensures better blood flow to the organs – including the brain, trains the metabolism and the blood vessels, increases well-being and strengthens the immune system.”
Exercise can prevent many chronic diseases, including tumors, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, but also depression and Alzheimer’s. The steps are also good for the calorie balance: “After 500 steps you burned about a sugar cube,” says Graf.
It doesn’t have to be 10,000 steps
10,000 steps, which corresponds to about five kilometers on foot, are quite a lot for everyday life. Does the person who does not manage the workload have a guilty conscience? “No,” Graf said. “But this information has proven to be an important factor, also in the communication of exercise recommendations. Alternatively, one can speak of 150 minutes of exercise time per week.”
That is two and a half hours a week or 30 minutes of exercise per working day. A lot that everyone can do and should achieve in terms of their health.
Whoever has a goal is more motivated
The ambitious goal of the 10,000 steps, however, inspires many runners. Working towards this goal is motivated. To make it easier to manage the daily step count, Graf gives a few tips: “It is quite possible to take 10,000 steps a day if you pay careful attention to it and, for example, leave your car behind, park further away or take another walk in the evening goes. ” For orientation: According to the expert, it takes around ten minutes to complete 1,000 steps.
Pedometers offer a good orientation
Progress can be measured particularly well with a pedometer. “Pedometers support the implementation of the number of steps made. In this way, movement becomes ‘visible’ and quantified. That means you can see how much you have really run,” says the movement expert and adds: “We have had very good experiences with the counters made for motivation. “
Which pedometers deliver good results
But how exactly do the little helpers really count? Graf recommends those with a so-called piezoelectric element as a reliable pedometer. This measures the movements with the help of electrical voltage.
The result is also more accurate if the sensors of the counter not only register the vibrations that occur when walking, but also detect vertical and lateral movements and can thus distinguish between a walk and a bike tour. However, such 3D counters are more complicated to use and also significantly more expensive than simple pedometers.
Get advice from a retailer
Devices that only work with one meter are generally less reliable, but there are also differences here: “The sensitivity of the device can best be tested by shaking,” advises Graf. With each major shock, the devices usually count one step. It is best to get advice from a specialist shop.
Those who don’t like running can go cycling, swimming or doing gymnastics. “The main thing is that you move,” said Graf.
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