10,000 = the magic number?

I’m sure you’ve heard the number 10,000 being thrown around – it’s apparently the ideal number of steps we should all take every day.

And with the rise of activity monitors and smart watches, more of us are getting into the whole tracking thing.

But you shouldn’t just accept what the fitness industry tells you to do.  As a coach, I never add any new bit of “advice” to my ethos without questioning it.

So – where did “10,000” come from, and is it really the best number to aim for?

10,000 steps equates to 5-6 miles for most of us.

It would take around 90 minutes (at a decent pace) to walk in one go.

Sedentary people on a quiet day can clock up less than 3000!

But people with active jobs and lifestyles can cover 20,000+ a day.

10,000 steps will burn anywhere from 250-900 calories (depending on your weight, pace, and the terrain).

What Does 10,000 Steps Do?

Think of 10,000 steps as the basis for good health. Our bodies are designed to move. We all know that too much sitting is bad new for health, posture, mood, and weight gain.

Some great things happen when you start regularly hitting 10K steps. 

  • You’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. 
  • More walking improves high blood pressure.
  • It aids your digestion, and can help you manage your appetite and cravings (without making you hungrier!)
  • You’ll get fresh air and sunlight (important for Vitamin D production). And you’ll be less stressed and anxious.

Is 10,000 The Ideal To Aim For? 

Experts can’t agree on this, and to be honest I can see why. Listen, ANY improvement in your steps is a bonus. Aim for 10,000, but if you fall short don’t give up. If you’re currently only hitting 5,000, and you start hitting 7,000 – that’s great!

Start adding more steps, and work up to 10,000 over time.

Weekly Average?

If you don’t get the chance to walk much during the week, you can approach your steps as a weekly average. It’s probably not as ideal as a daily average. But it’s better than nothing! So aim for 70,000 steps over the course of a week.

Walking more is a GREAT habit. It’s free, it’s enjoyable, and the only thing it demands of you is time. If that bothers you, turn your walks into learning time – pop a podcast or audiobook on your phone and make good use of the time. 

(But if you prefer to unplug, that’s encouraged too!)

Your health and fitness habits should always be enjoyable and sustainable. If you need some expert helping working out what this looks like, drop me a line to talk about in-person or online coaching.

Coach Joseph Webb.

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