Elijah Orr’s 100,000 step challenge video on YouTube proves too much of a good thing can have serious health implications.
Hitting that 10,000 steps can be quite challenging on some days.
But YouTuber and long distance runner Elijah Orr decided to set himself the mammoth challenge to complete 10 times that amount. In other words, 100,000 steps in 24 hours.
He documented his challenge in a YouTube video, which has already received nearly 13,000 views.
The day kicks off to a steady start with Orr hitting more than 8,000 steps by 8am just from walking to get his morning coffee instead of making it at home.
He then sets off on an 8-mile (approximately 12km) run and walks to get breakfast, which brings his step count up to 25,000.
But after going on a couple of walks around his neighbourhood – with a quick nap and protein shake in between to refuel – to hit 52,090 steps, the toll of the challenge starts to kick in.
He heads off on another 5-mile (approximately 8km) run – his third run of the day – and starts to experience pain in his lower legs.
“… definitely the calves and quads are barking at me,” he says at 58,718 steps.
After having a bowl of granola and yoghurt for dinner, he heads back out for another walk.
Orr then finishes the day on 82,650 steps with the goal of waking up at 3.30am the following morning to complete his 100,000 goal before the 24-hour cut-off point.
“I can barely move my legs, I’m so stiff right now,” he says before heading to sleep. “All the walking has absolutely killed my legs.”
With his legs still in immense pain, Orr wakes up at 3am the next day to reach his target before 6am. In under three hours, he walks 17,587 steps, bringing his total to 100,405.
The strenuous challenge has caused him to lose 3 pounds (1.4kg) in 24 hours, and the 9-minute long video ends with Orr explaining how exhausted he is: “That was a really, really tough challenge, definitely pushed my limits. I’m so tired, I’m just going to go to bed and sleep probably all day.”
The video demonstrates the fact that any exercise when completed in extreme amounts, can have adverse health effects.
“When you over exercise, this can lead to your body to experience hormonal imbalances including a spike in testosterone and cortisol, which is our stress hormone,” Ben Lucas, trainer and director of Flow Athletic, tells body+soul.
“While it is fine to have small spikes in cortisol now and then – for example when you are doing a quick HIIT workout – having those levels spiked for a prolonged period of time can increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to a host of issues from swelling, weight gain, to trouble sleeping. Additionally, it can lead to overeating and for the body to burn muscle instead of fat.”
And while 10,000 steps is a good guideline to hit every day, Lucas says it shouldn’t be the only fitness goal to focus on.
“Some days I would recommend adding in a 30-minute HIIT or resistance workout to give your body some variety,” Lucas adds.
“Lifting weights is especially important for helping you build strong bones which will become especially important later in life, and it also helps you burn fat. You won’t need to walk 10,000 steps on these days but still aim for 30 minutes a day if you’re working out in another way.”