When it comes to one of the most important numbers in life, 10,000 is a figure worth committing to memory. It’s the number of steps experts recommend you need to take every day in order to stay healthy.
Equivalent to around eight kilometres or roughly one and a half hours of walking, the 10,000 a day concept originated in Japan in the 1960s, before slowly catching on around the world.
“With so many people sitting all day at their desks, the need to get people out of their chairs and moving is greater than ever. Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia – and a major risk factor is being overweight or obese,” says Glenelg-based personal trainer Susanna Parkinson.
“Doing 10,000 steps every day helps to increase our overall health and fitness and by counting the number of steps and becoming aware of our daily movement, we can make a huge difference to the health of our bodies.”
While it may sound like a lot, it’s actually quite an attainable figure – even if you work in an office all day. Here are ten ways to help you reach your quota without even realising it.
1. Take the stairs.
No, it’s not ground-breakingly new but it’s one that genuinely works. Ditching the escalator or lift in favour of the stairs is an easy way to get one (or many!) steps closer to the 10,000 mark.
2. Go searching for the perfect pair of sandals.
Yes, we are giving you an excuse to buy shoes but there’s a catch – you have to visit every shoe shop in your local shopping centre. Malls are basically marathons in themselves and you’d be surprised by just how much walking you can do in a shopping spree.
3. Boogie to a Taylor Swift album.
Or any album of your choice. Shut the door, blast the music and dance as if no-one (or everyone!) is watching. Not only is it a great opportunity to practise and perfect your d-floor moves, you’ll tick off a lot more steps than you’d imagine.
4. Have a walking catch up.
“Instead of catching up for a coffee, catch up for a walk – your bodies will benefit and you’ll still get to catch up on all the gossip,” says Parkinson.
Particularly in the summer months, swapping sitting indoors to a walk and talk outside is a great way to socialise and keep fit. Even better if you can bring your dog.
The same goes for chatting to a long distance friend – rather than calling her from the sofa, get up and move during your chat. (Post continues after gallery.)
5. Run around with the kids.
Any parent will know that it’s near impossible to sit idle when there are children around – so use it to your advantage.