I’m not sure about you, but I’m a little bit obsessed with my fitness device. My watch is on me at all times, and on the rare occasion where I forget to wear it I feel pretty lost – not knowing how many steps I’ve walked and God forbid, not knowing my heart rate at any given time (I joke.).
Despite our reliance on these new forms of technology, they are very effective to up our fitness game in terms of knowing how hard we’ve worked each day. We can track, for example, how fast we are running in comparison to previous weeks, or track how are heart rate lowers during intensive exercise over a couple of months as we get fitter – all very useful on our fitness journey.
There is a general tendency to believe that 10000 steps a day is a very healthy goal; however, I strongly caution against this way of thinking. As with all components of health, the amount of steps you need to take in a day to maintain fitness depends on your unique lifestye. If you are swimming 4 kilometers in the morning, it would be absurd to then also push for 10000 steps in a day. The same goes for if you have done an intense HIIT workout and have pushed really hard – no need to then be concerned with walking another 5 kilometers! Studies show that people who have upped their steps to roughly 7000 steps in a day have shown many health benefits, and there is no real logical research as to why 10000 steps is the magical number.
I am definitely not saying that walking is not an important exercise – there have been studies that show that walking for just 30 minutes can have the following benefits:
- Increases energy – remember, you generate the energy or “prana” in your body when you are breathing deeply and oxygenating your blood.
- Strengthens muscles – your legs and core, specifically.
- Burns body fat
- Elevates mood and reduces stress
- Improves alertness – again, by deepening your breaths you are creating more energy
- Promotes good digestion.
So what can you do today to get a little bit of extra walking in? Maybe park your car a bit further from the entrance. Join a social walking group in your area. Take a stroll in a park over the weekend. Walking in the sunshine is even more beneficial for mood, vitamin D and for stabilising your circadian rhythm if done regularly.
Take care of yourself and enjoy your journey. Do what you can and make sure to listen to your body. 10000 steps may be manageable for some, or may be too much or too little for others – this is all okay.
Lots of light and love xx