• Lisa Magnuson

Wellness Challenge #19- Step 1 to building your fat loss foundation.

Over the next three weeks we will dive deeper into three previous challenges and why they are the foundation for fat loss, strength gains, and overall cardiovascular health.  Ideally these three actions need to become habitual in your daily routine and shouldn’t feel like a huge effort to make happen.   The acronym WWS is all you’ll need to remember which stands for Walk, Water, Sleep, and a simple way for people to remember the fundamentals and foundation of any successful weight loss program. 

The Power of 10,000 Steps

While the World Health Organization, the American Heart Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services have all adopted 10,000 steps as a daily activity recommendation, it did not begin as a science-backed concept. Ten-thousand steps is a completely arbitrary figure, one that originates from a successful Japanese marketing campaign in the mid-1960s. The campaign was designed to promote the world’s first wearable step-counter, a device called manpo-kei, which translates as “10,000-step meter.”

For many people, this can be a daunting figure at first. We know that. That is why our advice is to work with what you have first and just add 500 steps. We are certainly not telling people to go from 0 to 10,000. It just isn’t practical. However, we know that if you’re taking fewer than 5,000 steps a day on average, this can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of bone loss, muscle atrophy, and diabetes. Professor David Bassett of the University of Tennessee states that 6,000 steps and above gets you into the range that studies show protects you against cardiovascular disease. 2 From an athletic perspective, people who have poor cardiovascular capacity tend to be poor walkers. We believe a foundation of movement from walking will improve cardiovascular capacity.

We see it time and time again: People who perform poorly at cardiovascular testing (running, rowing, biking, etc.) all have one thing in common – they walk less than 5,000 steps a day. Simply stated, walking builds a strong cardiovascular engine. By improving our aerobic capacity by walking more, we improve our ability to perform better at cardiovascular exercise, and exercise in general. Walking sets the foundation for cardiovascular capacity as well as for strength training. A stronger, more efficient heart leads to improved strength performance. It’s science. You can do more volume in less time and recover faster. Walking more primes you to perform better, not to mention improves your overall health and longevity. Are you sold on walking 10,000 steps yet?

Excellence is a Habit Habits are the small decisions we make and actions we perform every day. Researchers at Duke University say that habits account for about 40% of our behaviors on any given day. In our mind, the key to long-term weight loss success was to create a system that allowed people to develop and stick to healthy habits for the long haul. People will go to great lengths to ensure that they have a smart exercise program and nutritional plan, but they often forget about or abandon their walking, drinking, and sleeping habits. A quote that I really drives home the understanding of where you are today and defines the meaning of “Arete”.

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are is a result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits. What you repeatedly do (i.e., what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. Everything from procrastination and productivity to strength training and nutrition – starts with better habits. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life.” -James Clear 1 Sources & References 1. The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick. James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change. Published February 14, 2013. Accessed January 9, 2019. 2. Cox D. Watch your step: why the 10,000 daily goal is built on bad science. the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/03/watch-your-step-why-the-10000-daily-goal-is-built-on-bad-science. Published September 3, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2019.

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