Nicola Addison, Wellbeing Expert October 06, 2017

If you’ve got any kind of fitness tracker you’re probably well aware that it suggests you aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day for good health.

We’ve asked Fitness and Wellbeing Expert Nicola Addison to give us the lowdown on what it is about 10,000 steps that makes it such a popular suggestion, from how much walking that equates to through to how you can achieve it if you’re struggling.

How many steps should I walk per day?

Government guidelines have suggested the average adult should aim to walk 8,000- 10,000 steps a day.

Why should I do 10,000 steps a day?

10,000 steps is a great target.

To be moderately active, the average adult should complete 150 minutes of activity each week. This sounds a lot! In actual fact, it’s half an hour of exercise every single day. The 10,000 step target equates to around the same amount of moderate activity.

10,000 sounds a lot!

It can be initially, but it’s important at the beginning to take note of your current step level and try to slowly increase it.

If you’re currently walking 4,000 steps a day, to get to 10,000 may be too large a target, so try increasing by 2,000 steps at a time instead. When you are comfortably reaching a daily target of 6,000 then it’s time to increase it to 8,000 steps.

I always walk more than 10,000 steps a day

If you’re already walking 10,000 steps a day, it’s important to set a higher target to challenge yourself. Aim for 12,000 and then increase by 2,000.

How many miles is 10,000 steps?

It is suggested a mile usually equates to 2,000 steps. This does however depend on your height, stride length and the terrain you are walking on. A mile of walking usually takes (depending on the variables listed above) around 20 minutes.

How would I achieve 10,000 steps?

I would suggest including a 30-minute walk as an addition to your daily routine. This can be broken down into smaller chunks initially. Such as 3 x 10 minute walks, but eventually, try to walk for 30 consecutive minutes.

Do I need specific footwear for walking?

No! A comfortable pair of shoes and good quality socks is a great starting point.

Is there any specific technique I should use?

Certainly not. Everyone will walk slightly differently. Try to lift your chest and keep your eyes on the top of the road to begin with though as this will benefit your posture.

How do I start?

Try not to be intimidated! It’s important to recognise that activity and movement does not mean hitting the gym 4 times a week! Simply walking for 10 minutes every day will be of benefit to your health, body and mind.

What should I focus on at the beginning?

Adherence. Little and often is the key and adherence really is the biggest WIN!

Start off small and focus on the words ‘regular’ rather than ‘harder’. Don’t expect to go from zero to hero in 2 days and be realistic with your time management and goal settings.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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