Lots of Health organisations including the UK National Obesity Forum, America Heart Association and notably, the Japanese Ministry of Health (the first to propose this number), have recommended 10,000 as the magic number of steps an individual needs daily to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
At first, this number seems massive and unattainable to most people, owing to our very busy schedules; most of which require us to sit for long periods during the day.
However, here are a few tips that will help you towards the path of achieving the daily 10k steps target.
- Start Early
Don’t wait till later in the day when you get back from work to “walk” towards your goal. By then, you’ll be too tired. On average, 10 minutes walk at a moderate pace gives you 1,000 steps.
So when you wake up at dawn, why not take a walk round your immediate vicinity for 20 minutes and start your day with 2,000 steps?
- Ditch the Car for Short Trips
I am sure before the advent of automobiles and technology the caveman walked an average of 50,000 steps a day :). The car was made for comfort, I know. But it’s also the single reason most of us do not meet our target for walking each day.
Why not ditch the car for short trips to the mall, grocery store, friend’s place and anywhere within the 2km radius? Keep in mind, walking 2 km is already 2,500 steps!
- Use the Stairs
Avoid elevators at all cost, except you are going past the 10th floor :). The stairs not only add to your daily steps but also help in building leg strength and in stabilizing your heart rate.
- Stay Active
I know how busy work gets, but during the day never remain rooted to a spot for more than 30 minutes. Stretch your legs, take a trip to the water cooler, visit the bathroom, whatever. Just find an excuse to move from your desk.
- Comfy shoes
Wearing comfortable shoes most of the day is the only way to achieve and sustain this lofty goal daily. Painful and uncomfortable shoes could give you blisters on your feet and discourage you despite your best efforts.
Ladies, you can’t to your 10k daily in 6-inch heels. It’s just not practical or safe. Sneak a pair of ballet flats in your bag for when you want to take walks.
- Get a Fitness Tracker
As the saying goes “that which is measured improves”. How do you know you are hitting the mark in the first place if you do not have any means of monitoring progress? To measure daily progress, I will advise you to get a fitness app on your phone. Preferably, invest in a fitness tracker for better accuracy. A few good brands are Fitbit, Garmin. Whichever is fine.
- End the Day with a Bang
Finally, nothing motivates me better than getting home at the end of the day with only a few steps left to hit my target. This will only have been possible if I remained active during the day and followed the tips mentioned earlier. All I need now is a 10 to 20 minutes walk to make up the 1,000 to 2,000 step deficit.
These simple steps worked for me and in a short time, I went from 8,000 steps a to an average of 20,000 steps per day. I hope they work for you too.
Till we meet again, Keep on Walking!