10,000 steps a day: Fact or myth?

10,000 steps a day: Fact or myth?

At a time when every sports accessory and online guide is telling you to that you need to walk 10,000 steps a day, we thought that this week we would tackle the rule head on to see if it really holds up! Here’s what we thought….

Is it that simple?

Definitely not! The 10,000 steps a day ‘rule’ or ‘guideline’ was initially based off 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day which is internationally recognised as the amount needed for an adult. However as we should all know by now, no one rule works for everyone. Everyone is different, those just getting up off the couch and beginning their journey to a healthier lifestyle may do less, some people might be bang on average and others may do 5x more!

10,000 steps would, in most cases, help you to maintain your current weight, however in order to actively lose weight usually people would need to do a lot more or some additional exercise.

Are we forgetting the point?

Remember: Losing weight does not necessarily correlate to getting healthier. The idea behind the 10,000 steps guideline was to help people start to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Losing weight, or the desire to do so can be a really unhealthy pressure on someone’s shoulders, and realistically watching little numbers tick over on an electronic device won’t result in long-lasting change.

 

Therefore it’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and nutrition together, can be achieved in hundreds of different ways, choose the one that’s right for you! Losing weight might be the goal for some, but being healthy should be the goal for all of us.

Don’t be a slave to your watch!

With all these numbers and goals flying around it’s easy to become obsessed! Don’t be one of those people who walks around in a circle in their flat to try and get those last 73 steps in!   I too wear a fitness watch/ tracker but aside from my workouts I hardly use it. For me, my step count isn’t that important, I regularly hit my target of about 12,500 steps a day but that’s just mainly because of my daily routine.

Let’s remember we’re all human. If you’re spending 8 hours in an office 5 days a week then for someone like me, it’s unrealistic to expect to get the little ‘well done’ message buzzing from your watch every day. I would encourage anyone to turn off the push notifications on these kinds of watches and trackers, so that you don’t ever become enticed into filling an algorithm or adding to some stats database!

Don’t forget why you started…

Think of your steps as an important -and easy!- way to get some more exercise and some more fresh air. It’s an opportunity to add a little bonus to your daily exercise or simply your daily routine. Being healthy is all about making consciously better decisions, but what it is not about is numbers or stats… so leave the watch at home today, go for a walk and enjoy the fresh autumn air! Don’t count to 10,000!