Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: How Many Steps?

Tuesday Tip: How many steps? 🚶🏼‍♀️

We’re all used to being told to walk 10,000 steps a day – but why 10,000?

It turns out the 10,000 number isn’t based on loads of research and evidence, it’s in fact based on marketing for a Japanese pedometer in the 1960s and may not in fact be the holy grail for health it’s built up to be.

10,000 steps equates to roughly 5 miles (depending on gait etc) – when you’re just starting out that’s actually a really long way! You may not have the confidence or fitness to get close to 10,000. So having that goal can backfire if you’re constantly not hitting it and feeling bad. Also of course most trackers tend not to include things like swimming, cycling or spinning in the step count or any resistance training so it’s not an accurate measure of activity. On the flip side for some hitting 10,000 is a walk in the park (🤣) due to their job or commute so why have that as the goal?

A better approach, and one I use with my clients, is to track your current steps for a week or so, and look at the patterns. Then set goals based on those – so if on work days you’re only hitting 4,000 steps, there’s no point aiming for 10,000 if you physically can’t get them, instead aim for 6,000 instead – a moderate increase in activity. And rather than just focusing on steps think about increasing overall activity across the week.

Studies suggest 150 mins of moderate aerobic activity (walking, Swimming, gardening etc) , or 75 mins of intense activity (hiit classes, spin, etc) per week is the minimum requirement for overall health. If you’re trying to lose weight start there and then if you’re hitting it increase the goals.

When it comes to fat loss increases NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) or the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise, is what matters in terms of increasing your overall calorie burn. So garden, walk, fidget, stand up – be as active as you can! And forget 10,000 and set yourself some realistic step goals.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


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