While 10,000 steps a day seems intimidating, the reality is the goal is much easier to achieve than you would think.
Not only does this goal help with weight loss and fighting obesity, but it also lowers your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
If you are not already using a pedometer or an step counting app on your smartphone to measure how many steps you take a day, then that’s the first place to start.
It will give you an understanding of how many you are doing in an average day and a base for you to work with and grow from. A sedentary person might walk about 1000 to 3000 steps a day and the average person takes about 5000, which means most of us are already half way there!
The length of 10,000 steps is about 8km depending on your stride length. While this might seem like a significant distance to cover each day, when completed in smaller sections, the concept becomes much more achievable. These are a few ways to achieve the goal of 10,000 steps without even trying.
If you are new to the walking game and you aren’t sure how to get started, try breaking the steps up into quarters. Make sure you keep track and do 2500 every 2 or 3 hours. If you spread it out into smaller goals more frequently throughout the day you may feel more encouraged to reach your overall step count.
If you have to do the weekly check up calls to family and friends then rather than sitting down with a coffee and a sugary snack, pop on your runners and head outside for a walk. Not only will the call take your mind off the exercise but you will be able to time how long you are walking for. If you think the call will go for an hour don’t let yourself stop walking until the you have hung up.
There are always sneaky ways of forcing yourself to take an extra hundred steps or so. If you are driving try parking a street away and letting yourself walk. If you are taking public transport then try getting off a stop before you have to. This will force you to go the extra mile (literally) as well as save a few dollars on fuel and transport.
Friendly competition can often push us to perform better and work harder. Find a friend that’s looking to achieve the same goals as you so you can compare your step count throughout the day and try to outdo each other. You can also encourage each other to go on daily walks instead of catching up over coffee or lunch.
Household jobs usually involve standing or walking for several hours. If your step count is low and you can’t get outside for a nice stroll a swift round of vacuuming or mopping will do the trick . Have your morning coffee while you go around the garden to water the plants and grass. Wash your car with a bucket rather than going through the drive though or try walking to the post office to deliver mail. All of these small changes will not only be better for your health, but it might also encourage you to get those annoying jobs out of the way!