Walking 10,000 steps – a necessity or ‘nice to have’?

The government recommends walking 10,000 steps per day. Is it worth the effort?

Well, first of all, it’s very little effort – if you are very sedentary you will probably enjoy it more if you build up to 10K.

I would recommend that you get a pedometer or a Fitbit tracker, set it to your stride length and discover what you currently achieve. You may be surprised – I found that I walked far fewer steps than I had imagined but the good news is that it is easily fixed.

You can easily work out your own ways to get more steps in, try these;

  • Park your car further away from the shop, the office, the train
  • Get off the bus a stop or two earlier and walk the difference
  • Don’t leave things at the bottom of the stairs to go up next time you go – just take them up
  • Get up to change the TV channel – don’t use the remote control
  • Make a deliberate decision to go for a walk at lunch time – you will find that you are much more productive in the afternoon
  • Go for an early morning walk – fresh air before breakfast – it takes a lot of beating!

And why bother walking?

  • Burns calories
  • Strengthens your back muscles
  • Slims your waist
  • Is easy on your joints
  • Will help to lower your blood pressure
  • Will shape and tone your bottom
  • Helps to cut cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • Can help to reduce stress
  • Will help you sleep better
  • And you can do it practically everywhere, it will cost no more than a pair of suitable shoes and you can do it almost anytime
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What’s not to like?

(updated April 2020)

About Marion Foreman

I fall neatly into the ‘women who weren’t born yesterday’ category. I grew up in a turmoil of Guardian fuelled feminism. I went from ‘little woman’ to independent person in a decade. I began my nurse training in the early 70s in the midst of a male dominated university town. I convinced myself that my views must be wrong as the ultra clever men didn’t agree with me. It wasn’t until I did my degree with the OU that I realised that I had a voice – and a legitimate voice at that. Four children and three husbands later I have found my place in the world. A place that simply says that I am who I am, that I can choose my own path in life and choose those who walk with me. I have learnt that equality means making and taking opportunities, not feeling compelled to ‘do it all’.