The idea that one should log 10,000 steps daily for good health is not new. It has been around for several years and,periodically, as someone re-discovers it, it gets new life. I have in the past tried to fulfill this quota but it has been difficult to keep track of my steps. Some type of step counter is essential but the earlier ones had their problems. They had to be clipped on to the trousers and the display wasn’t all that great. Recently, I got a new counter which is both convenient and easy to read. It merely has to be put in one’s pocket and the digital read-out gives both the number of steps and the time of day… useful to know how long one has been walking. The counter also has memory and gives the cumulative number of steps as well as the number of steps taken the previous day. We humans love to measure things and it is interesting to check the counter and find out how much further I have to go. As a result I now have a better handle on how much I’m walking each day.
I find that, when I don’t make a special effort, I only log about 3,500- 4,000 steps. In order to reach the 10,000 norm, I have to walk about half an hour, morning and evening. This is not always possible, so I try to walk five or ten minutes whenever I can during the day. Whether one takes several short walks instead or one or two long ones doesn’t matter; the aggregate is what is important. I find that the numbers mount up rapidly and the 10,000 step target becomes more achievable.
Of course, no sooner does one meet a norm, then the bar gets raised. A gentleman I know, an 81-year old physician, told me that he tries to walk 14,000 steps daily because while 10,000 steps is good , one really has to log 14,000 each day to lose weight and keep trim. He is in great shape and , at age 81, still works part time .. so his opinion seems to be a valid one.
There is a middle aged lady in our development who walks far in excess of 10,000 or even 14,000 steps daily. I see her walking at all times of the day, morning, afternoon and evening and in all climates. Even when it is drizzling or snowing lightly, she is still to be seen walking , arms pumping in her characteristic style. The only concession that she makes to the weather is that she dresses more warmly. I think she must walk at least 8 hours a day and that is a conservative estimate. I’ll spare you the math but I estimate that that works out to over 50,000 steps per day! Everyone knows about this lady and I have I heard one story which explains her fanatical walking habits. ( According to this story), she lost her husband shortly after she moved to this development and is all alone now. She cannot bear the loneliness of her house and that is why she walks in an effort to keep busy and to stop thinking about her loneliness. It is a very sad story and I hope that it is not true.