Once you hit your 10-thousand steps for the day and do your little happy dance, is it okay to skip a workout and cozy up on the couch? Maybe not, according to medical experts. The thing is, while those steps are important to indicate you’re being relatively active, they don’t measure the intensity of your workout. According toDr. Kien Vuu, a performance and longevity doctor, when it comes to your health, there’s no one size fits all exercise solution. And he says it shouldn’t come down to choosing between walking or a workout.
He typically recommends a mix of both to his patients because one isn’t really better than the other - they’re important for different reasons. Tracking your daily steps helps motivate you to get up and move and lets you know when you’re being too sedentary. But you also need blood-pumping activities that raise your heart rate and are believed to lower the risk of heart disease, which Dr. Vuu says is the number one cause of death around the world.
“Aerobic activities that raise your heart rate and strength and resistance training are both keys to longevity,” he explains. So what’s the best way to spend your 30 minutes working out? Dr. Vuu says it’s high intensity interval training, which combines both aerobic exercise and strength training. But he says you should still keep tracking your steps and using your fitness tracker to look at other health metrics as well, like heart rate and sleep.