September 09, 2015

The Myth of 10,000 Steps and the Magic of Walkadoo

Fitness trackers are everywhere, and with them, the ubiquitous goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day. But where did this number come from – and is it the ideal number of daily steps for the average person?

The origin of 10,000 steps a day dates to 1965, when a man named Y. Hatano created an early version of the pedometer. It was called the “man-po kei,” which translates to “10,000 steps meter.” From there, the Japanese popularized the goal of 10,000 steps a day, and over time, it became the broadly accepted goal for people who hoped to walk their way to fitness.

Pedometers have come a long way in the last 50 years (just take a look around at people’s wrists!), yet the goal of 10,000 steps a day stubbornly remains. The problem? A step goal that’s too high and never varies isn’t just boring: it’s also a deterrent for the 44% of U.S. adults who are so sedentary that they walk fewer than 5,000 steps per day. This is why Walkadoo was designed to make more steps in reach for everyone.

Walkadoo is a wireless, pedometer-based daily activity program that’s a little bit different each day. Instead of giving you one goal that never changes, Walkadoo’s specialized software adjusts and evolves to your walking patterns and gives you a new, manageable step goal every morning. Each day brings a different number of steps to aim for – one that’s just right for you. You and other members can connect, share, and celebrate your successes on the Walkadoo website. And those who like to compete can even join walking derbies.

The Walkadoo app is free, and there’s no need to buy or connect a separate device when you join, thanks to the in-app step tracker. It’s compatible with the iPhone 5, 5s, and 6 – but unlike so many other activity tracking apps, it won’t drain your phone’s battery. (Already have a fitness tracker? Walkadoo also supports popular devices such as Fitbit, Jawbone, and Misfit.) Get started and take the first step with Walkadoo!

August 27, 2015

Could 200 Calories be the Key to a Healthier Weight?

When it comes to weight loss, researchers recently found that cutting calories is more important than cutting out fat or carbohydrates. While that might come as good news to those of us who aren’t ready to part with bacon or bread, what happens next? How many calories do you need to cut to make a difference?

Energy Gap for Weight Loss
An obese individual who loses 10% or 20% of their body fat needs to cut calories to maintain their weight loss. The energy gap represents the number of calories consumed each day that lead to weight gain over time. Source: Hill JO. Can a small-changes approach help address the obesity epidemic? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009;89:477-484

The answer comes to us from researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition: 200. That’s the number of calories that someone needs to cut to reach a healthier weight. Since the 1970s, people around the world have slowly and steadily gained weight, leading to a global obesity epidemic. The authors of the study found that this ongoing weight gain is driven by only 50 calories each day. Addressing this 50-calorie “energy gap” can stop long-term weight gain in its tracks. And a person who consumes 200 calories less each day will see even bigger changes to their weight.

That’s where Hello 200 comes in. Once you start thinking about what you eat in 200-calorie increments, it’s easy to find things to cut or swap. You might skip the bag of chips at lunch and save 160 calories. Or, you could drink seltzer instead of a can of soda and save 182 calories. Hello 200 is full of other surprising strategies to help you find those 200 calories each day.

With the Hello 200 app, you can keep track of all the choices you make about what to eat and watch the healthy changes add up. It’s not about making a huge overhaul to your diet. It’s about small and sustainable changes. The app is free to use, with no subscription fees or special foods to buy.

Cutting 200 calories each day is an approach to weight management that’s easy, realistic, and fun. Where will you find your 200?


September 22, 2014

Team Picks: Daily Challenge Turns 4!

This week is all about celebrating Daily Challenge’s fourth birthday! DC has come a long way in its first four years. Together, members have completed more than 15 million challenges, sent more than 1.3 million encouragements, shared more than 60 million smiles, and formed 140,000 pacts! That’s a lot of small actions.