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How Many Steps a Day To Stay Healthy: Daily Step Goal

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
  • Fitness trackers like smartwatches and pedometers are great tools to help you consistently meet health goals. 

    Getting in more movement is good for our bodies, but the number of steps you need to take is relative to your age and current fitness level.

    In addition to walking, taking a cellular health supplement, like fatty15, can help support your longevity and ensure you age healthfully.

Most of us own some type of fitness-tracking device. Whether it’s a watch or our smartphone, these devices help us turn our daily activities into quantifiable data. We can then use that data to measure certain aspects of our health. 

Tracking activity levels is one of the most basic forms of biohacking, or attempting to enhance and/or improve your life by manipulating your lifespan or your permanence. Most of these devices include some type of pedometer, which actively tracks how many steps you take each day. 

If you’re looking for ways to keep healthy, adding a daily walk and tracking your steps sounds like a good idea. We’ll explain the benefits of walking and help you determine the exact number of steps you need daily to maintain your health and increase your longevity. 

We’ll also talk about another popular biohacking tool that focuses on restoring and repairing the foundational molecules of your entire body: your cells.

Where Did 10,000 Steps Come From?

You’ve probably heard that 10,000 steps is the magic number for achieving a healthy level of daily movement. While getting in 10,000 daily steps can benefit most people, science says the metric is a little off. In fact, that number was the result of a pure coincidence.

A company in Japan first marketed the pedometer in the 1960s. In their marketing, they realized that the Japanese symbol for “10,000” closely resembled a person walking. When they marketed their “walking meter” product, they used a play on words and named it the 10,000-step meter. Nearly seven decades later, that same marketing gimmick is leading most of us to strive for 10,000 steps every day. 

So, Should We Walk Less?

That depends. The problem with the idea of 10,000 steps leading to better health is that we needed time to research the long-term results of taking 10,000 steps each day. 

Prior to recent years, there simply wasn’t enough data to analyze. That led the CDC to issue guidelines in 2018 that were primarily based on lengths of time, not amount of exercise. For instance, the CDC recommends 150-300 minutes of brisk exercise weekly, with “brisk” being considered brisk walking that increases your heart rate. 

If you’d prefer to run or jog, you only need 75 to 100 minutes of exercise per week. You’re expending the same amount of energy but over a shorter period. Thus, current guidelines say that it’s more about the amount of energy you’re exerting, not the length of time you’re moving or the intensity of your movement. 

That still leaves us with the question of whether we can quantify and recommend a certain number of steps per day that will benefit a person’s overall health. With the popularity of documentaries that follow the lives of octogenarians pointing toward more walking as a means of preserving longevity, most of us want to know the secret formula. 

The Right Number of Steps

A new study that researched the results of people taking those coveted 10,000 steps per day tells us a few important facts about our step counts:

  1. Movement is good, and more movement is better for most people. Movement is directly related to a lower risk of heart disease and obesity and even improves mental health and blood pressure levels. 

  2. The benefits of movement are directly correlated to a person’s age and current level of physical health. 

  3. Walking more isn’t always the most healthful option; at some point, the benefits of additional steps taper. The perfect number of steps is different for each person. 

For people under the age of 60, the magic number of steps per day falls somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000. For individuals over age 60, less is more. These people should aim for 6,000 to 9,000 steps per day to enjoy the cardiovascular health benefits and increase in longevity that extra steps promise. 

Is Walking Better Than Other Exercise?

Your fitness goals may include weight loss or bench pressing more at the gym, but should they also include getting in more steps as opposed to other forms of exercise like jogging or cycling? 

That depends. In studies of areas where people tend to live longer, healthier lives, walking and light exercise, like gardening, are staples. Walking is also a safe, low-impact exercise that most able-bodied people are capable of performing without risking serious injuries. 

Remember that physical activity guidelines focus on effort, not intensity. Running may be effective for you and allow you to spend less time putting in the same amount of effort, but keep in mind that moderate-intensity exercise and high-impact exercise may come with higher risks for injuries, especially in older adults. 

Bottom line: Walking is a great way to improve your health safely, increase your longevity, and help you feel better. It’s one of the most popular biohacks on the planet, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever regret taking more steps as opposed to fewer steps. 

Another way to support your health and longevity? By taking care of your cells.

What Is Cellular Health?

Your cells are the foundation of your entire body. Taking good care of them helps ensure you don’t just live longer but more healthfully. The cells are also the sites where our bodies begin to age. Changes in cellular structure and function are the reasons why our bodies begin to decline as we get older. 

Thankfully, there’s an easy solution for taking care of our cells so we can lead longer, healthier lives. Fatty15

Elevate your cells. Elevate your self.

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What Is Fatty15?

Fatty15 is the first and only supplement, born of scientific research, that contains just one ingredient: the pure, vegan-friendly version of pentadecanoic acid, also known as C15:0. C15:0 is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that is essential to our bodies. 

We know what you’re thinking: How can saturated fat be healthy? We get it. 

For decades, we’ve been told that all saturated fats are bad. Science now supports that this is not the case. 

Science supports that higher levels of odd-chain saturated fatty acids are associated with better heart health, liver health, and metabolic health. There are now calls to action to update current dietary guidelines to differentiate between good and bad saturated fats.

What Does C15:0 Do for Our Cells?

Great question. C15:0 has the power to reverse cellular aging and support the functionality and health of our cells. 

It does this by:

  • Strengthening cell membranes. Our cells’ protective membranes become flimsy and weak with age, which can affect our cells' protection and ability to maintain their shape. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates into cell membranes, helping fortify them and keeping them strong. In studies, C15:0 improved cellular strength by 80%.
  • Removing damaged cells. Cellular senescence is a cellular error that happens as we age. Instead of cells that lose their function dying and being eliminated by the body, they remain in the body, causing toxicity and inflammation. C15:0 activates AMPK, a molecule that helps clear away damaged, non-functioning cells. 
  • Regulating inflammatory response. C15:0 significantly calms and lowers levels of molecules known as proinflammatory cytokines, which researchers have discovered are a key driver in the aging process. 
  • Repairing and restoring mitochondria. The mitochondria in our cells produce ATP (energy) for the cells that help them carry out their function. Over time, mitochondria become sluggish and produce less ATP. Simultaneously, they produce more reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to oxidative stress in the cell. C15:0 not only decreases ROS production by 45%, but in one peer-reviewed study, it increased ATP levels in cells by 350%.
  • Helping promote total body homeostasis. By activating AMPK, C15:0 helps regulate homeostatic functions like glucose uptake, immunity, heart, metabolic, and liver health. 
  • Activating PPARɑ and PPARẟ receptors. By activating these receptors, C15:0 has been shown to play a role in regulating functions like appetite, mood, and even sleep. 

Getting more C15:0 into your cells helps you improve your cellular health for a healthier, longer-living you. 

Can You Get C15:0 Through Diet?

C15:0 is found primarily in whole-fat dairy products like whole milk and full-fat butter, however increasing your intake of these foods may not be the ideal solution. 

First, you’ll be taking in excess calories and sugars. Whole-fat dairy products provide a wallop of calories, including sugars (aka lactose), that also require cows. The calories in whole-fat milk likely explain why a large-scale recent study showed that adults who drink more dairy milk are more likely to have a higher body weight. 

Further, the movement to more plant-based milk and meat replacements is driven by a desire for more animal-free products and to veer from cows and cattle because of concerns around methane production. Interestingly, plant-based milk replacements lack C15:0 altogether. Fatty15 offers a vegan-friendly C15:0, with only one calorie per dose.

Second, you’d be consuming more fats you don’t want. While the good C15:0 fatty acid is present in whole-fat dairy products in trace levels, there are much higher levels of “bad” even-chain saturated fatty acids that continue to be associated with poorer health. 

Third, the C15:0 in whole dairy products isn’t as readily absorbable as it is in fatty15. In milk (and other foods), C15:0 is attached to branches of lipids called triacylglycerides, aka triglycerides. 

That means our gut has to use digestive enzymes to break down these triacylglycerides to release C15:0 as a free fatty acid. Once C15:0 is released, it is ready to be absorbed. These multiple steps can make our absorption of C15:0 from foods less efficient. In contrast, FA15 in fatty15 is our proprietary pure, powder C15:0 ingredient already in free fatty acid form. 

Less work for the gut, more good C15:0 for our bodies.

Walk Your Way to Good Health 

Your 10,000-step goal is probably a great idea for improving your health and increasing your longevity. Another good goal? Taking care of your cells. The easiest way to support your cellular health is by taking the only once-a-day C15:0 supplement, fatty15. 

Just one capsule per day is enough to restore your circulating levels of C15:0 and help you fast-track your cellular health. 

Sources:

What Is Biohacking And How Does It Work? | Forbes Health

You Don't Really Need 10,000 Daily Steps to Stay Healthy | Scientific American

How much physical activity do adults need?|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Effects of Physical Activity on Life Expectancy With Cardiovascular Disease | Cardiology | JAMA Internal Medicine

What is a Walking Moai? (And How it Can Improve Your Health, Your Social Life, and Your Productivity) | Blue Zones

Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women | PubMed

Efficacy of dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid parallels broad associated health benefits in humans: could it be essential? | Scientific Reports

A review of odd-chain fatty acid metabolism and the role of pentadecanoic Acid (c15:0) and heptadecanoic Acid (c17:0) in health and disease | PMC

Dairy consumption and overweight and obesity: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies - Louie - 2011 | Wiley Library

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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