Taking steps to a better way of living
The Daily TelegraphMonday 22 July 2002
|When it comes to walking, the magic number is 10,000: steps, that is.
Walk that many each day, experts say, and you'll get fit.
The idea has been around since the 1950s, says Prevention magazine walking editor Maggie Spilner.
Let's see ... 20 steps from bedroom to kitchen. Only 9980 to go. There are 1000 around the block, plus an extra 100 crossing the street to say a quick hello to the neighbour. Plus 2000 shopping. That brings our step count up to 3120. Hmmm.
You're going well, that figure compares to the 2000 steps a day taken by the average sedentary person, according to Spilner.
In case you lose count, Spilner suggests investing in a pedometer.
You can find them at sporting and discount stores, or through catalogues and websites. They range from the simple step counters to more elaborate units with heart monitors and calorie counters.
“The benefit of counting steps rather than kilometres is that the increment is so small,” she says.
“People can stay motivated all day long by checking their pedometer. Walking in the car park, taking the stairs -- all these lifestyle steps count.”
After you wear the pedometer for a week or so, bump up your steps by 20 per cent each week, she says. If you want to lose weight as well as stay fit, you'll probably need to walk up to 20,000 steps.