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Ten Thousand Steps. How far, how long and how to make it happen!

Ten Thousand Steps. How far, how long and how to make it happen!

By Jessica Ward

You might have heard about the ‘ten thousand steps a day’ initiative. The idea is to encourage us all to move about more, with the simplest form of exercise that most of us have been doing for years– walking.

The target of ten thousand steps is just an indication. But what does it actually mean?

How far is ten thousand steps?

Obviously this depends on your stride length, which depends on your height and leg length. A figure of 70 centimetres is a good average. This means that ten thousand steps is roughly 7 kilometres or 4.3 miles.

Four miles a day? Are you kidding?

It’s not as much as you think! Most people can walk four miles in an hour on a level surface. So think of it as a target of an hour’s walking a day, including what you already do. Perhaps you can incorporate that into your journey to work or the gym, or add a walk round the locality when you get home. You can also try the NEAT approach to fit in more walking. You could even try a treadmill desk for the ultimate in multi-tasking.

Will it help me lose weight?

All exercise uses calories as muscle fuel. If you use more calories than you take in as food, you will lose weight. Depending on your weight, those ten thousand steps will burn about 400 calories. That’s a great start.

Putting one foot in front of another is a perfectly valid form of exercise. Let’s all walk more!