10,000 steps is a figure we are very familiar with – it’s the standard, right? The magic number we should be aiming for each and every day. Since lockdown, my step count has dramatically decreased. Although I’m still exercising regularly, I’m not walking to and from the tube, walking round the shops etc… So, I set myself a challenge to meet at least 10,000 steps every day for a whole month. And here’s how I got on…
I will admit, around three days in I did question my decision to take on this challenge, but I’m not one for giving up so I continued. There were quite a few days that required a marching motion by the side of the bed or laps of the flat before I turned in for the night, but on the whole I really enjoyed having a target of 10,000 steps to get through. It usually meant going for two walks per day, or a run and a walk in order to meet the milestone.
After 30 days, I had walked/ran over 300,000 steps which just sounds insane but the proof is below in a very formal table format! I was personally very pleased with the 28th day, where I managed to hit the figure exactly (and not move another muscle afterwards).
Top tips for walking 10,000 steps a day
Find a tracker
I used the health app on my iPhone to track my daily steps – as it didn’t require any extra investment and it could just count away while I’m going about my daily business. I do wonder how technically accurate it is – rumour has it that it underestimates the steps and obviously there are times when I’m walking without my phone (like in my flat) but I thought it was a good enough record of my steps. If you’re taking your step count super seriously, you may want to invest in a smart watch or fitness tracker so that you can get a more accurate reading.
There are lots of benefits to getting into running, but upping your step count is definitely one of them. I found it worked out quite well for me to lace up a few times per week to get some of my steps in first thing in the morning. It’s a quick (albeit not so easy) way to get lots of steps in. If you’re new to running, I’ve heard the couch to 5k app is amazing – so do give that a go!
Walk with a friend
Having a pal to pound the pavements with is a much more satisfying way to get up your step count. Obviously during lockdown, I didn’t have a companion (my partner only occasionally joined me on my strolls) but as we ease out of lockdown, you can totally meet up with a friend to keep you company during your stepping. Also, going out and about with a pet totally helps, as it gives you a purpose for your walk.
Tune into podcasts
Some people may find going out for long walks pretty boring – especially if you don’t live near any picturesque scenery and you’re forced to do laps of the block. To add some interest into your walking mission, why not plug into a podcast? You’ll be surprised at how quickly the time goes, and how many steps you rack up, when you are distracted – and it’s also a great way to learn new things.
Discover a new route
Mixing up your walking route is another way to keep things fresh. Look at Google Maps to see if there are any nearby parks you haven’t visited or any new places to check out. Also, once we are out of lockdown and back to normality, hopping off the bus a stop early on your way to work or the shops is a super-easy way to observe somewhere new and get your steps up.
I hope this blog post helps you with your own step count – now I’m off to put my feet up.