A doctor says that taking 500 more steps every day could help you live longer.

• A doctor said that exercise can help you live longer and keep your heart healthy.
•To get healthy, you don’t have to walk 10,000 steps every day. Even 500 more steps help.
• Start small and stick with it by making exercise fun with friends or even TikTok tasks.

Taking a simple first step toward better health is truly the first step toward a long, healthy life.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist, author, and Bayer Aspirin partner, said that walking is one of the best ways to improve your health and live longer by avoiding diseases like heart disease.

She told Insider, “I always say that exercise is the best medicine.”

Your amount of daily activity is a big part of how healthy your heart is as a whole, and being inactive can make you more likely to get heart disease.

Steinbaum said that adding a few more steps to your day can help, and you can start small by walking a few blocks at a time. He said this is because new study shows that even short walks have big health benefits.

“Doing something is better than nothing,” she said. “If walking is the first step toward living a heart-healthy life, then the first steps are the ones that will lead to habits that will last a lifetime.”

Cardiologist Recommends 500 Extra Daily Steps

Even if you can’t go to the gym, walking can help you stay healthy and fit

Most health standards, like those from the CDC and the American Heart Association, say that you should do modest exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Going to the gym is good for your health, but so is taking a short walk. Both add up to your weekly exercise total.

Steinbaum said, “Walking can definitely count toward these guidelines, as long as the walking is done on purpose and with a focus on the right heart rate zone.”

Walking as exercise is great because it doesn’t require any special warm-up or planning, and you can do it almost anywhere, even if you’re just starting out with fitness. 

She says that if you want to start walking regularly, you should start with just a few minutes and work your way up.

“The slower you start, the less irritated you’ll feel, and the faster you’ll get better. The key is to have a plan and stick to it. Just do a little bit every day,” Steinbaum said.

She said that a good plan is to walk even a short distance (starting with a few blocks) every day for six weeks, which is enough time to make it a habit and keep you going.

Other experts have told Insider that starting slowly with an exercise routine and making it harder over time can help keep you from getting too tired or hurt.

You don’t have to walk 10,000 steps a day to be healthy; even walking for 5 minutes more can help

People often think that taking 10,000 steps a day is good for your health, but this is just a marketing-based lie. Research shows that doing less can be good for your health in many ways.

A new study found that taking between 2,300 and 4,000 steps a day is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and dying early. Taking an extra 500 to 1,000 steps a day can lower the risk even more.

Not every time, more is better. She said that people over 60 should take between 6,000 and 10,000 steps per day. Studies show that younger people can benefit from taking up to 20,000 steps per day.

Your walking speed is also important. “To be the most effective form of exercise, walking should be focused and intentional, with the goal of getting the heart rate into the moderate intensity zone,” she said.

Evidence says that a good way to measure energy is to find a quick pace that makes you work, but not so hard that you can’t talk.

Make exercise a fun part of your daily life to keep yourself going

To get the most out of any kind of exercise, you need to do it consistently over time.

Steinbaum says that it helps a lot to find ways to make exercise fun. She walks as much as she can during the day and makes time for dance classes that she likes.

“I love to go places! “It wakes me up and gives me a boost,” she said. “If you find something you enjoy doing, it’s not work. It turns into a fun thing that you look forward to.”

Research shows that one of the best ways to stay inspired is to make exercise a social activity. Going for a walk with friends can help you stick to a plan.

Steinbaum said that TikTok walking tasks, like the trend of walking 50 miles per month, can also be good for your health.

“This TikTok trend was a great way to get people moving, and encouraging people to walk 3,500 steps a day for 50 miles a month was exactly what we need to do for overall heart health,” she said.

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