Perhaps many of you reading this blog got a fitbit or some kind of activity tracker for Christmas in a bid to become a bit fitter and healthier.
I am fairly fit as I regularly train for triathlon, however, I was really interested on the days that I don't train how much activity do I do in a day. So I bought myself a Christmas present, a combined GPS and activity tracker watch.
Despite having a fairly active job I actually found it quite hard to do the required daily 10,000 steps when not training. This got me thinking about a number of questions of why 10,000 steps?, how far is does this equate to? and is it really necessary?
10,000 steps is believed to have originated in Japan in the run up of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Pedometers became fashionable in the country and one company came out with a device called a "manpo-kei", which means 10000 step meter, which resonated with people at the time. Since then it has stuck that 10,000 steps is a goal to ensure daily fitness across the world. Various targets have also since been published by public bodies which are similar to that figure.
In a women 10,000 steps roughly equates to walking 5 miles! Of course we are all individuals so things like stride length vary between us and also some trackers work on motion of the arm so give the arm a little shake and you might clock up an extra few steps - so you may not actually be achieving 5 miles.
According to the NHS the average Briton takes between 3000 and 4000 steps per day, however if you are a regular walker, runner you may take many more than 10,000.
Will Walking 10000 steps make you Fitter?
If you regularly train it is unlikely to make you fitter, however, ensuring that you walk 10000 steps every day can also help with weight management.
If you are sedentary or unfit then starting to increase your walking each day will undoubtedly improve your fitness and health.
What Can you Do To Get 10,000 steps in Every day?
1. Firstly create a little plan as to how you can increase your daily walking
2. Park your car a little further away or get off the bus a stop earlier.
3. If unfit don't try and get 10000 start with 3000 and build up a 1000 steps each week until 6-8 weeks later you are regularly doing 10000 steps.
4. Try and get out at lunch for a quick walk round the block. You will be much more productive at work as well as being healthier.
5. As you get fitter try increasing your pace and introducing hills into your walks to further create challenge.
For more advice on introducing walking as a way of getting fitter speak to one of our physiotherapists - we are happy to help.
Member since: 18th September 2015
I qualified in physiotherapy over 20 years ago in my home town of Aberdeen at the Robert Gordon University. Since then I have also gone on to do a Masters degree in Sports and Exercise Science in 2003...