We all know how important it is to get regular exercise. We’re told all the time of the benefits – in fact you might have seen recent news stories claiming that moderate exercise can even reduce the risk of developing up to thirteen different types of cancer.
Plenty of studies have suggested that exercise is not just good for our physical health, but for the mind too.
The trouble is, it can often be hard to know what is realistic for us to achieve as individuals, what kind of targets we should be aiming for, even what kind of exercise we should be focusing on.
Initiatives like the 10,000 Steps Challenge create a fun, achievable way to increase the amount of light to moderate exercise you do.
Is Walking Really Exercise?
Yes! And it’s great if you don’t want to be saddled with the commitment to a gym or personal trainer – you can walk anywhere you like. You can even fit it into your daily routine, walking to the shops or to work, for example.
Why not try getting off the bus before your usual stop and walking the rest of the way? Or you could adopt a dog – a daily walk with man’s best friend would be a great way to increase the amount of walking you do.
Increasing the amount of walking you do can help you to:
- Lose weight.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Reduce the pain and soreness associated with chronic conditions like arthritis.
- Sleep better.
- Improve your mental functions.
Why 10,000 Steps?
Most of us walk somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 steps each day. You might come in somewhere under that figure, but you also might be pleasantly surprised to find out how many steps you do take a day.
Now, nobody is expecting you to make up the extra 6,000 steps (or more, or less) for the 10,000 Steps Challenge straight away, but if you can make up the extra over time the benefits will certainly be noticeable.
According to the NHS, if you are aged 45 and weigh around 70kg (about 11 stone), you could burn somewhere in the region of 400 calories briskly walking 10,000 steps.
If you manage to reach the target, you’ll be on course for completing the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. And you’ll probably find that your determination to reach the 10,000 Steps Challenge goal will make regular exercise a healthy habit for yourself!