I’ve heard that 10,000 is the magic number of steps to take per day for optimum health and weight loss. Other people tell me that it is between 12,000 to 15,000. I’ve recently got on the bandwagon to move more (diet to follow) and bought myself a Garmin Vivo Smart HR plus. This is a fancy thing that The Ginger Hunk tells me is good to track my runs and movement each day. It’s also waterproof and has a GPS. (Not sponsored by the way, just a public service announcement.)
Anyway, I digress.
The movement for 10, 000 steps per day started with Japanese researcher Yoshiro Hatano, who determined that if everyone took 10,000 steps a day, this would mean burning 20 per cent of their calories through exercise. The number has since been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and the Australian Heart Foundation. Being an occasional runner, I thought I was excluded from doing steps. But as my weight has increased over the last few years I have realised that there is no point in running three days a week if you sit and drink champagne on all the other days of the week. I exaggerate slightly. But not much. I sit on the bus, I sit at work, I come home and sit on the blog. Although I may do a light yoga class, Pilates or a meandering walk at lunch on my non running days, it is not enough movement for sitting all day. Come to think of it, when I have been the leanest it has not been from running, but walking in my social work job in London. Walked to the tube, walked from the tube, walked around doing my home visits.
In Vietnam, my sister was doing Steptember when we were on holidays. So I carried along with her on her step-a-thon and realised that 10,000 steps is a lot. Two walks in and out of Hoi An town from our hotel (plus around the town) or an hour and a half walk from our hotel on Phu Quoc into town. It was a lot of walking. My legs were sore. I was tired. But I slept well and felt great. And so on return I am trying to continue this walk-a- thon that we started on holidays, on my non-running days by adding in a little to and from work walking. It is going to be tough!
This is what I have figured out I have to do to reach around 12, 000:
- 12,000 steps includes a walk to the shops and back (2km) and a 40 minute walk home from the doctor!
- On working days this means a 25 minute walk in the mornings from Neutral Bay to North Sydney AND a walk home.
- If you do a 10km hilly trail run that will equal climbing 77 floors and 15, 000 steps!
What about you?
Do you have a fitbit or a fancy Garmin or the like?
How many steps is the right amount?