Walking 10,000 steps a day is not as easy as you think and does have real benefits.
Get one of those devices that track the number of steps you take in a day. Your seven-day average is a good fitness indicator, here's why.
There are loads of devices available that you wear on your wrist. I use a Fit Bit Charge 2, but this post isn't a fitness device review.
The point is: said devices are useful because they talk to an app on your phone and record steps and stuff.
They also can record:
They are also sensitive to different types of activity and record your data about that too.
If you are already active, you'll be getting plenty of steps in already. But if you are working towards getting back to fitness, then counting your daily steps can help.
If you are a bit on the large side, then getting 10,000 steps a day in will definitely help.
There's a magic number of steps we should be aiming to achieve daily. 10,000 steps is that number.
Here's what the UK National Obesity Forum says:
"People who walk between 7,000 and 10,000 steps a day are moderately active".
I mean, thanks. Don’t spare the congratulations, will you?
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not easy. Not because it’s hard to do in a physical sense, but time-wise it can be difficult. It works out for me (and most adults) to be around 5 miles of walking.
There’s something else too. If you are fitness walking, then getting the miles every day can be a challenge. It depends on your current fitness level.
There is a critical point here. I called it fitness walking because I'm not talking about the kind of pace you might stroll to the pub at.
I'm talking about a pace that will sweat and perhaps a bit smelly.
So, if you are managing 10,000 steps a day according to your device, then you should start to feel the benefit. Again, it depends on what your fitness level was like, to begin with. But getting the steps in is a good sign you’re on the way to improved fitness.
It’s no good being happy that you got 10,000 steps in today. And then having an extra doughnut.
You have to keep putting the 10,000 - daily. Or you do if you want to get fitter and lighter at the same time.
The steps counting devices can help you with that. They’ll track when you’ve got them done. They also track the fact that you haven’t. It can be a motivator when you are 1,000 steps short.
Most devices also remind you to move your arse at certain points in the day.
That's another critical point: being active as opposed to a fatty, means moving more often that you used to.
People will tell you that walking isn't exercise. And that you should go running, or ride a bike. Or something else. Like going to the gym.
Walking like you mean it (imagine you are going to an appointment) will raise your heart rate. It will make you sweat and it will improve your fitness.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is also a good way to develop consistency in your fitness efforts.
I walk around 10-12 miles a day. Trust me, it ain't easy.
So, count your steps, get your heart pumping and don't mind sweating up your t-shirts. It'll do you good - honest.