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The first step towards increasing your daily steps

10,000. Yep – that is how many steps you should walk a day based on the NHS (National health service) recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise a week. 10,000 steps sounds like an awful lot! How will I be able to fit that in my busy daily routine? Well, you will be surprised to know the average person already walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day. There are many ways to up your step count to get those last 6,000 under your belt each day!

In this article we will be talking about some of the many benefits of walking and the best ways in which you can increase your step count without breaking the bank.

How can I increase my daily step count?

You could simply ‘try’ to walk more by adding an extra walk to your day but the chances of keeping it up for a long period of time probably isn’t too high. We recommend making small tweaks to your daily routine such as getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way or walk to the shops instead of driving.

If you happen to have man's best friend in your life, then you have a great motivator for putting your wellies on to help keep your furry friend fit and happy. Take your canine companion for long walks. Not only will this be rewarding and healthy for your dog, but you get the added bonus of increasing your fitness level at the same time.

How will I know when I hit the recommended 10,000 step count? Most smart phones now have built-in ‘healthy’ apps which automatically monitor fitness activities. Some of them even maps out the journey you did! However, if you don’t own a smart phone there are other cheaper devices on the market to keep track of your steps such as pedometers.

What will walking actually achieve?

Let us give you an example; a person aged 45 and weighing 70kg (about 11 stone) can actually burn around 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3-5mph). If you walked that every day that’s a whopping 2,800 calories a week. Now you can feel less guilty about that cheeky Friday night take away.

Great! So I can lose weight whilst walking – what else is it good for? You would also be pleased to know that it has been scientifically proven to lower stress, boost energy and reduce fatigue.

We will be discussing other ways of lowering stress, boosting energy levels and reducing fatigue in future blog posts so be sure to keep an eye out.

Have fun but be safe!

So now you have been bitten by the walking bug. Before you set off there are a few things you need to do. Firstly, make sure you do it safely. If your walk takes you onto a public road make sure that you are wearing clothing that will make it easy for motorists to see you. High-vis jackets are great walking companions now that it is getting dark outside earlier. Comfortable shoes and clothing can also make the walk more enjoyable. At the end of the day, you are more likely to keep it up if you enjoy it.

What if there are no good walks on my doorstep? Where should I go? There are many places dotted throughout the UK that offer great walks. The National trust has recently published their best winter walks which can be found here.

Lets us know where your walking boots takes you! #TheseBootsAreMadeForWalking

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