Fitness Tracker – Do You Need One? The goal shouldn’t be hitting that 10,000-step milestone. Or meeting your step goal for the day like your fitness tracker says. Forget calories, heartbeats or even weight on the scale. For a lot of people, it is all about the Fitness Tracker ( how many steps): If you are to hit that magic goal of hitting 10,000-steps for the day? Then you better walk laps around the house before the clock strikes midnight. If you can manage to edge out whoever is at the top of your step-count leaderboard with your fitness tracker, that’s even better. Does that sound familiar anyone?? Of course it does it seems we all a little addicted to these popular devices. For all of the focus many fitness-minded people put on that 10,000-step milestone – which comes pre-programmed into virtually every fitness tracker on the market – that is the goal. Please Don’t Fall For These Fitness Trends! According to one Sports Medicine review, it all goes back to 1960s Japan, when pedometers sold there were marketed with the name “manpo-kei,” meaning “10,000 steps meter.” For some reason, the number stuck, and norts Beg.w, nearly 60 years later, we are still chasing that 10,000-step goal. “There’s nothing magical about it other than it’s a nice, round number,” says Dr. Dr. James Borchers, associate professor of clinical family medicine and director of sports medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. ________________________________________ In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t even have a step recommendation. Instead, its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise – along with two or more days of strength-based exercise – per week. Think about it, you could take 10,000 steps and still not meet current exercise recommendations. According to your fitness tracker, a step is a step; it doesn’t matter if you ran it while busting out an 8-minute mile or took it walking from your couch to your bed. Hence, this is why research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that most healthy adults take anywhere between 4,000 and 18,000 steps each day, which is a huge range. ________________________________________ Why Steps Still Matter But don’t ditch your pedometer or step-count goal altogether. According to PLOS ONE research, step count is inversely related to one’s risk of death. Translation: The more steps you take per day, the better your health tends to be. Why? Largely because we spend too much time during our days sitting still. “No matter your exercise routine, it’s important not to discount the importance of getting up and moving more throughout the day,” says Borchers, who notes that constant sitting – whether it’s in the car or at your desk or on your couch– increases your risk of death regardless of how much you exercise. And regular exercisers who hit the federal government’s exercise recommendations still sit too much, according to research from Northwestern University. “The goal shouldn’t be hitting one particular number, but rather increasing your current step count, whatever it is,” Borchers says. That, in addition to meeting your overall exercise recommendations. So get up and stretch your legs! Find ways to add in more movement everyday!