According to performance and longevity expert Dr. Kien Vuu, it is best for your health to use a combination of both steps and exercise and not simply focus on a single approach.
"[Getting] 10,000 steps per day usually means that you are relatively active, which is important. However, it doesn't measure the intensity of exercise, which is also important," he tells MarthaStewart.com. "Aerobic activities that raise your heart rate and strength and resistance training are both keys to longevity."
Dr. Vuu explains activities that raise someone's heart rate and keep the blood flowing are thought to lower the risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. In addition to cardio, he notes the importance of strength training and focusing on developing muscle.
When exercising, the performance and longevity expert suggests doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in order to get both cardio and strength training. "This type of exercise has benefits of cardiovascular protection and lean muscle building," he says.
It is also important to make sure you stay active during the course of your day, and tracking your steps is an easy way to ensure your body is moving. "Although not perfect, fitness trackers do a reasonable job of providing physiological data for the body," Dr. Vuu says. "They have variable accuracy when tracking steps taken, heart rate, heart rate variability, and sleep."
One of the best ways to stay active and hit your step goal is taking regular walks -- plus they are free and do not require a gym membership. The Doctors note the health benefits of walking may include:
- Can help with weight loss
- Can lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduces risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- May lessen the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease
- Helps to reduce stress and anxiety
- Improves and strengthens bones, joints, and muscles
- Boosts energy levels
- Reduces instances of insomnia
Get even more ideas, tips, and suggestions on how to stay active and make the most of your workouts from The Doctors.