As a nation we have always spent more time sitting on our bottoms and less time being active, but is lockdown could be making it more difficult to get your daily steps in.
Are you getting your 10k in or are the steps to the sofa this lockdown just not adding up?
10,000 steps is approx 5 miles, approx 1.5 - 3 hours of walking, and approx 400-700 of calorie burn. We generally do not do this all in one go, instead we usually knock up the tally through our day to day activities. Dues to cars and office jobs the average person pre lockdown was struggling to get over 5000 steps a day in.
You may initially think that lockdown may make your step count a little more difficult to achieve, but it actually could make it easier especially if you were one who would struggle with half their daily steps
How do you get 10k steps in during lockdown?
- Start the day with a few extra steps, pace while brushing your teeth in the morning - aim for 100 steps and you may also find your teeth are getting a better clean too
- Wake yourself up with some fresh air in the morning with a lap or two around the garden (or house) can add 300 or so steps. It will be just like walking from your car to your office, it may even help set you up for the day.
- You are probably spending more time on your mobile phone than ever whilst working at home. There is a reason they are called mobiles - pacing when you are chatting on your mobile phone can add another 500 -1000 steps a day
- Make sure that you are getting your daily outdoor exercise during lockdown with a lunchtime walk. How often did you do a daily walk pre lockdown? A daily walk is not only good for your mental health but a brisk 30 minute walk could add up to 3000 steps, double it up for 5000-6000.
- rather than shout up to the kids / partner, take the stairs and speak with them face to face, you could add another 200 steps a day
- At the end of you home working day why don't you do another couple of laps of the garden or house to tally up another 300 steps and help turn your brain off and prep for personal time
- be efficient with daily tasks to take 500 more steps - take cooking ingredients from cupboards one at a time, put away dried dishes as you dry them rather than at the end, take your laundry upstairs in two trips rather than one, set the dinner table bit by bit
- During the ad breaks on your favourite TV programme, get up and walk or even climb the stairs for 3 minutes. 4 advert breaks can add a further 1000 steps
- Get an app and complete with friends and colleagues, you will be surprised how your steps step up when your competitiveness kicks in and can boost your steps 50%
To increase the benefits of walking even more, try interval walking, 30 seconds fast walking, followed by 1 minute normal / medium pace or walking fat to one lamppost and them normal to the next.
Walking is so often over looked and under-rated as a form of exercise but it is great for your health, mind and your pocket (its free). Make the most of lockdown life to increase your daily movement and steps - here is some great reasons why.
The Benefits of Walking
Improves heart and lung health - Walking is a cardiovascular exercise, which is in general terms anything that gets you heart rate up and primarily uses your aerobic energy system (uses oxygen in muscles to convert energy). Cardio exercise has been shown to improve the cholesterol marker ratio in the blood as well as help to control high blood pressure. The extra intake of oxygen taken during walking also contributes to good lung health and better circulation.
Muscle strength & tone - Walking helps to strengthen and tone you legs, bottom and stomach muscles and helps keep you mobile.
Low impact - As walking is a lower impact exercise it has less pressure on your spine and joints than other forms. Most people are able to take on some level of walking, just make sure that any injuries, problems and fitness level are taken into account and build it up slowly.
Weight Loss - you can burn up to 300 calories per hour (depending on speed), so just by walking 20 more minutes a day you increase your calorie burn by up to 100. Spread that over the week you have burned 700 calories.
Better Body Composition - lower intensity exercise doesn't burn as many calories as higher intensity work but it will be burning a higher percentage of fat leading to a lower and healthier body fat level.
Prevent loss of one mass - According to arthritis.org walking can stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis. A study on post menopausal women has shown that 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40%.
Improves mood - exercise releases feel good endorphins. Studies have shown that a brisk walk is as effective as anti-depressants in mild to moderate cases of depression. So a good walk is great for mental health
Vitamin D Boost - We all need to get outside more to get our vitamin D requirements from the sun, so by walking outside you get a double benefit.
Improves sleep - various research has shown that a 30 minute walk, 5 times a week help promote better sleep and better energy levels the next day as a result - win win!
Supports joints - walking can help support joint by bringing nutrients to cartilage through your movement
Slows mental decline and lowers alzheimer’s risk - there has been studies that indicate that walking every day can reduce the risk of alzheimers and also reduce the decline in memory that comes with age.
What are you waiting for - Get Walking!