Lifestyle

Here’s why we should aim to hit 10,000 steps a day.

Modern life sees us with less time to ourselves than ever before. Whether its family, work or social commitments, often it is your routine exercise plan that falls by the wayside to make room. However that doesn’t mean your health needs to completely suffer.

A Japanese study published back in the year 2000 pushed an old perspective back to the forefront suggesting that maintaining fitness is as simple as going for a walk. How far you say? Just a measly 10,000 steps per day.

Before you panic suggesting 10,000 steps sounds like a lot, take a closer look at the numbers and you’ll see it actually equates to a rather achievable goal. 10,000 steps is roughly 8 kms or 30 minutes of exercise a day, satisfying the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDPC) goal of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

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With a few small changes daily we can all get closer to achieving this goal. Below are our pick of simple tips to get you over the line:

  • Use a pedometer (knowing how many steps you’ve taken may help you stay motivated to reach a goal)
  • Make walking a habit.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk with mates or pets.
  • Spice up your routes and go for nature.
  • Hop off the bus a stop early to clock up a few extra steps.

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Now that you’re out there and walking it is time to look further into your fitness goals. While 10,000 steps is a great starting point for satisfying the CDPC’s suggested level of moderate exercise per day, each person is different and should assess what they want to achieve differently.

General Health: The 10,000-step goal is perfect for this. Moderate exercise is linked to a myriad of benefits including reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, improved psychological state and improved body composition.

Fitness Gains: Starting at 10,000 steps may be too much at first. If you’re looking at increasing fitness you may work to a gradual increase program adding an extra 1000 steps per week, 100 steps per day and/or increasing intensity as you go.

Weight loss: Similar to fitness gains you’ll want to increase the intensity with which you take your steps to see thorough improvement. It is suggested that 10,000 steps can burn around 2000-3500 calories per day. 3500 calories roughly equates to a pound and adding an extra 5000 steps with proper dieting could well go towards you reaching your weight loss goals.

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While the numbers are all overwhelming there is a common theme behind the research and that is the need to look after your health. Your health is your life, so get your Fitbit out and start counting those steps to a stronger, fitter you.

What’s your favourite way to get moving?

This article was written in collaboration with Ascend Strength & Fitness Gungahlin.

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