Walking 10,000 steps a day is a pretty standard goal for many people who are starting out on their fitness journey, and it’s a good goal too.
Why is it a good goal? (if you work in a target driven job you’ll know this one) It’s a SMART goal!
It’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely
When you set out on any new fitness regime, your success will depend upon your determination to succeed and the results you see along the way. The most successful people understand that these results won’t happen overnight, so a SMART goal like 10k steps a day works well and keeps you motivated.
NHS Choices advises that walking the recommended 10,000 steps a day is equivalent to burning 500 calories, and doing that 5 days a week will burn 3,500 calories – enough to lose 500g (1lb) of body fat.
Walking isn’t just good for weight loss, it can improve your heart health too – “A Harvard University study found hypertensive patients who went for a fitness walk at a brisk pace were able to lower their blood pressure by [a] specific amount”. Express.co.uk
So once you have decided on your goal, how do you set about achieving it?
The beauty of 10k steps a day is that it is so easy to incorporate into your existing routine. By making a few subtle changes and a few sensible choices, you will be on the road to success in no time at all.
And here’s how:
Use a tracker
Unless you have some sort of incredible mathematical power, manually counting 10,000 steps is impossible. So the best way to start your 10k journey is by investing in a bit of kit. A good fitness tracker will count your steps for you and record them so you can keep a running total throughout the day.
An even better fitness tracker – like our very own AT100 Bluetooth Activity Tracker – will also record your distance travelled and calories burned. As an added bonus it can track your sleep patterns and record all of the data via Bluetooth into your phone or tablet via our free interactive app for iOS and Android.
Tracking your results will give you the satisfaction you need to help keep you motivated each day.
Every extra step counts
This is about making those small choices throughout your day that will combine to have a big impact on your step count. By this we mean taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking a little further away from the door and walking to your colleague’s desk instead of calling or emailing them.
You can also make a point of leaving your desk or the house for a few minutes at lunchtime, or between jobs to take a brisk walk. The fresh air will lift your spirits and your step count will benefit too.
This isn’t training for a marathon or even a couch to 5K (they might come later!) it is about choosing to take the few extra steps here and there that will take you to your daily goal.
Set reminders on your calendar
You may find that complacency sets in pretty quickly so you need to prevent this by being proactive. Set regular reminders in your phone to remind you to get up and move. Try taking an extra few steps every half an hour – leave your desk for a little wiggle or have a boogie around your living room – you might want to do it in private, but whatever happens make sure you do it.
Find some competition
Nothing helps you hit a target more quickly than knowing that someone is on your tail. Find a buddy and challenge them to a weekly step count contest – the one with the most steps completed buys the Smoothies!
Don’t get disheartened
We know that realistically, some days just don’t leave enough room for extra steps. You might be stuck in a long meeting or one of your children might be under the weather and in need of your care. If this happens, do not lose heart. Simply aim to make it up over the next few days to get you back on target. So if you only managed 6,000 steps on Monday add an extra 2,000 steps on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are 70,000 steps to achieve in a week and nobody will penalise you for averaging them out a little.
Our #WinterWellbeing Guide is here to help you have a happy, healthy winter. Keep up with us throughout the next few weeks for regular tips and tricks to help you face the winter head on.
You can browse all of our activity trackers and other device to help you manage your health at home on our Kinetik Website (there is 15% off everything until the end of January).