My name is Gina and I have finally joined the FITBIT revolution. How many times have we heard people say I must get my 10000 steps done. I am usually a runner interspersed with some fell walking or walking to and from the pub. With being poorly and not having done much exercise, thought I would get one as an inspiration to get out.
While manufacturers of fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Garmin might very well be responsible for the current 10,000-step fixation, the hype actually started in Japan back in the 1960s. While the Tokyo Olympics was happening, locals started thinking about their own fitness prowess. Soon after, the first commercial pedometer — called the manpo meter— was introduced. Manpo means 10,000 steps in Japanese, and the number was selected after research revealed that men who burn at least 2,000 calories per week by exercising have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. That breaks down to about 300 calories per day, which most people can achieve by doing 10,000 steps.
Completing 10,000 steps each day typically burns about 2000 to 3500 extra calories each week. One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories, so depending on your weight and workout intensity, you could lose about one pound per week simply by completing 10,000 steps each day.
Walking can provide a simple way to get exercise in without needing complicated equipment, no expensive gym memberships or staying chained to an impossible exercise class schedule.
10,000 steps sounds a lot. How do I fit all that walking into my busy day?
Increasing your walking is easier than you think. Try these tips for getting more steps into your life:
- get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way home or to work
- walk to the station instead of taking the car or bus
- take the stairs instead of the lift, or walk up escalators
- invest in a shopping trolley and shop locally if you can
- walk the children to school, whatever the weather
- get fit with Fido – walk the dog
I was amazed at how many steps I did in a day without really thinking about it. I thought I wasn’t that active. But in and out of customers, walking from the car park to customers etc, I can easily achieve 7-8000 steps. Have the vibrating band on my wrist, buzzing if I have been inactive makes me more aware. It has been said that walking is the best form of exercise and it is right. So for the time being I am going to be a FITBIT bore, getting excited when the fireworks come on my screen to let me know I have done my steps. Plus hopefully lose a few pounds and get some level of fitness back before embarking on my London marathon training plan.