• BodyWHealth: Unlocking the Best Possible You

10,000 Steps; Foundation for WHealth

10,000 Steps; Foundation for WHealth 1024 682 BodyWHealth

The first blog I wrote for BodyWHealth is probably still the most important one I will ever write. It outlines the importance for exercise, specifically moderate intensity aerobic exercise as the primary foundation for your WHealth.

The imperative for exercise is real and urgent. Technological and societal advances have precipitated a massive (R)evolutionary Gap, leaving us to be a largely sedentary species, with devastating biologic consequences. Inactivity causes profound disruption to our metabolism. In particular, it forces a delicately balanced family of chemicals, known as the cytokines into chaos. The consequence is systemic inflammatory overload that dramatically increases our risk of devastating disease, such as heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, degenerative neurological conditions like dementia, and cancer.

Luckily, there is compelling evidence that lifestyle modification, including moderate intensity exercise, can have far-reaching impact on our WHealth, dramatically reducing the risk of the diseases we fear most. More specifically, the evidence is resoundingly clear that an active lifestyle that involves walking at least 10,000 steps on at least 5 days of every week is the foundation for good health.  It saves lives and prolongs lives. In addition, we need to control our weight, sleep well and minimize stress.

I have no doubt in my mind that the single most important thing you can do to attain WHealth is to achieve your 10,000 step goal. That’s why I give it pride of place as Golden Rule #1 for BodyWHealth.

10,000 steps is not the only way to achieve your exercise goal, but it’s the easiest. You don’t need special talent or equipment, and you are not dependent on anyone else to make it happen. All aerobic exercise is good for you, and several resources will help you choose equivalents to satisfy your WHealth goals.

10,000 steps can be daunting for a beginner, but it shouldn’t be. Start small and build slowly. This, and other practical tips will bring this critical, foundational goal within your reach.

Once you have established your 10,000 step base, you should introduce two additional elements to your exercise schedule. Exercise that promotes muscle strength and mass has independent health benefits. Flexibility training reverses muscle and joint stiffness – limitations that oppose WHealth.

Finally, you must actually count your steps. There are many devices that help you do this today. Most new smart phones have this built-in functionality. You can buy wrist bands and exercise watches that count steps and more (I use the health app on my iPhone). You can also acquire a simple little device to clip onto your clothing for little more than a dollar that will do the job perfectly well. It’s the only way to know when to celebrate, and I want joy to be part of your exercise program!

Keep reading this blog and you will discover 6 more Golden Rules that will ensure you enjoy the abundant riches of BodyWHealth. Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to stay informed and motivated. Bring your friends. We’re building a thriving, WHealthy community!

Have fun,