10.000 steps a day may seem a lot of walking. But with a little planning and determination, we can all do something to have fitter, leaner and healthier bodies.
There can be no doubt, the world's population is becoming obese at an alarming rate, due mainly to most of us eating more, putting the wrong foods into our bodies and getting little or no exercise.
OK, on average we may be living longer because of the advances in medical science, but our health generally is on a downward spiral with hospital and doctor visits increasing all the time. Taking a brisk walk for a few minutes a day around the neighbourhood could start to turn all that around.
Medical opinion suggests that we all need at least 20-30 minutes of moderate activity each day to stay healthy, but many fall short of even that. Which explains why serious health issues like diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease are on the rise.
Fitness experts also recommend we should walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health and weight. Most of us would be lucky to achieve half that in an average day. A 10,000 steps walk is about five miles, but your length of stride will affect this of course. Depending on your fitness level, age and weight, every mile walked will shed approximately 100 calories.
A pedometer will give you a good idea of how many steps you take each day. I recommend you get one and use it for a couple of weeks to get an average step count. Remember, you should be aiming to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
For many like me, sat at the computer all day is what we do nowadays to earn our living. A hundred years ago, our ancestors mostly worked in manual jobs and often would walk considerable distances each day just to get to their place of work. Not only that, everything they ate was fresh and produced from scratch in their own homes. Today, we tend to drive everywhere and eat more refined foods and snacks, usually with our feet up in front of the television.
There are many things you can do to increase your daily step count quite naturally:
- Walk to the local shops instead of driving
- Get off the bus one stop earlier
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Walk the dog more often (I'm sure he/she would appreciate it too!)
- Spend more time on family walks
These are just some simple suggestions, but do what feels right for you. You will be surprised how easily you can achieve your 10,000 steps a day, and will soon feel the benefit of better health and a fitter, leaner body.