Walking for Fitness: The Health Benefits of Getting Those 10,000 Steps Each Day
As the first quarter of 2021 closed, the Long Branch Health Department welcomed spring and the return of warmer weather by providing tee-shirts for the City’s beachfront spring fitness walking club, a partnership with RWJ Barnabas Monmouth Medical Center.
Club members and the staff of the Long Branch Recreation department met twice weekly at the Pier Village boardwalk from March 16th through April 29th for a two-mile walk. Monmouth Medical staff members provided a weekly walking lecture on five topics including “How To Keep Your Heart Healthy,” “How to Get A Good Night’s Sleep,” and “Exercise for Your Heart and Lungs.” Using our NJHCN grant funding, the Health Department was able to provide 65 tee-shirts for the program’s participants.
Additionally, to encourage staff and community members to create or maintain the healthy habit of walking, the Health Department has purchased pedometers for all employees, which have also been provided to the Recreation Department for free distribution to any city residents or Rec program participants who want one.
In May, City employees received an email blast extolling the benefits of consistent daily activity, starting with walking 10,000 steps a day. Studies have shown that more than 30 different chronic health conditions are accelerated by physical inactivity, ranging from heart disease and stroke to depression and constipation. But regular daily physical activity, such as walking 10,000 steps a day, provides benefits that will protect your health. And walking doesn’t just boost your heart health by strengthening your heart and reducing the risk of heart attack. A 2017 study showed that when it comes to losing weight, collecting 10,000 steps a day is just as effective as doing five 30-minute workouts a week.
Getting those 10,000 daily steps may also:
- Boost your energy
- Aid relaxation and clear your mind
- Improve your brain’s performance
- Store less body fat and help manage your weight
- Build stronger bones and muscles.
- Tone and transform your body
- Stabilize your blood sugar
- Promote healthier blood cholesterol and blood pressure
- Improve confidence and mood
- Provide a sense of achievement and satisfaction
The ability to learn new tasks, grow new brain cells, and stave off cognitive decline are all aided by daily moderate exercise. A study in the journal Current Biology showed that just one bout of exercise enhanced the brain’s ability to reorganize, repair, and adapt to new situations. This may be especially important now as we adjust to the disruptions and changes the pandemic has brought to our lives.
The Health Department anticipates that June will bring the installation of our new drinking fountain/water bottle station at Manhasset Park, with new mile markers placed around the walking track. By encouraging daily exercise this spring and summer, including low-impact walking, in our many parks and along our beautiful boardwalk, the Long Branch Health Department hopes to enhance the long-term health and happiness of our City’s residents.
About the Grantee
The Health Department provides a comprehensive program of public health and other services to the community.