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!
today's rain was an excuse, but I really do need to do more walking. Four miles is not that far. It has to be done!
Good to remind us that as well as using the gym we should just generally move around more. I walk everywhere I can and get fed up at people who use cars for short journeys.
oh dear, I've got 'and I would walk 500 miles' playing in my head now...fortunately 10000 steps is a lot more achievable!
I have to say I am also tempted by the treadmill desk...realistically, parking at the far end of the office car park would also help. And give me more chance of a space.
Working 12-hour shifts at a desk has always meant I'm not on top of the 10,000 steps count very often but knowing this has made me more active in other ways. I do want to try and get my step count up though so maybe a treadmill desk is the only answer ;)