Many Malaysians are aware that walking is a good form of exercise for health, but how many steps does a person needs to walk in order to be healthy ? According to a joint study conducted by University of Leicester and Duke University which published its findings in the December 2013 Edition of LANCET, the world’s leading general medical journal revealed that :-
Walking an additional 2,000 steps per day could help reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke.
“A large international study of people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; a precursor to diabetes) has found that every additional 2,000 steps taken a day over one year—roughly equivalent to 20 min a day of moderately-paced walking—reduces the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke by 8%.
Specifically, for every 2000 steps per day difference in walking activity at the start of the study there was a 10% difference in the risk of cardiovascular disease in subsequent years. On top of this, the risk of cardiovascular disease was further modified by 8% for every 2000 steps per day that walking activity changed between the start of the study and 12 months later.”
For more info, go to article.
Those with sedentary lifestyle and white collar office personnel working long hours on computer as well as those spending long hours in front of TV are likely to be the most vulnerable group. One Australian Study, published in 2010, also found that every daily hour spent in front of TV over a 6 year period increased a person’s risk of death by 11%. The study wasn’t about exercise, it was about the basic day to day activity that involves moving, bending and stretching that keeps your blood circulating and your muscles from losing tone.
With the advent of many health mobile apps, one can monitor and keep track his/her daily movement and I find that these apps are such wonderful yet useful tools for smartphone users that can easily download from Apps Store and use it to keep track his/her daily walking steps and distance.
For IPhone 5S users or with software IOS 7.1, there are many apps available, both free and paid apps.One recommended FREE app which is simple and easy to use is Pedometer ++.
Once you have successfully downloaded Pedometer ++ from Apps Store, set your daily goal - 2,000, 2,500, 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 depending on your own target. For a start, you may start with 2,000 as your daily goal and later on, you may increase it to 2,500 or higher. And if you wish to monitor number of the steps before the start of walking exercise, go to the App Icon Pedometer ++ and activate the badge step count icon. The app icon will display the current step counter once you start walking.
As for other smartphone users running on Android system, I believe there are similar health apps as well.
If you find that age is still on your advantage and walking is inadequate to bring out the maximum benefits and you aim for higher fitness and endurance level, hiking and treadmill workouts at gyms( either walking or running for 20-30 minutes) can be your alternative choices. The popular places for Penangites go for hiking are Penang Hill, Bukit Jambul Hill and Bukit Mertajam Hill. Surprisingly, The FREE App, Pedometer ++ can work well to track the total number of steps and distance too for my hiking exercise and treadmill workouts.
However, If you have other preferred sporting activities and you wish to measure how many calories you burn through exercise, there are plentiful health apps available too. One recommended website which I find helpful to measure how many calories you burn through exercise is
Once you have this FREE App in your mobile phone and set your goal of achieving healthy living, you are in control of your life and what’s more, Penang is such a conducive living place for healthy living environment blessed with natural tropical hills.
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