Did you know that the 10k steps theory was actually a Japanese marketing campaign for the run up 1964 Toyko Olympics? It was simply a way to encourage the Japanse to become more active.
We all love that little “party on your wrist” when your Fitbit beeps to tell you that you have hit the 10k steps benchmark, but recent research has shown that the daily goal may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Have you heard of Active 10?
Active 10 is a project that was backed by Public Health which aims to encourage adults to build more physical activity into their life, starting with a daily brisk ten-minute walk. You can download the free app here. They say that research shows that doing three x 10 mins brisk walks a day where your heart rate increases is much more beneficial and you lose weight faster than just completing 10k steps a day. If you sit at a desk all day and find the prospect of trying to reach 10,000 steps incredibly daunting, going for a quick walk at lunchtime and after work may be your solution.
But it's not all about losing weight
For me, walking each day is not about losing weight, or even keeping fit. For me, it is nourishment that I need for my soul and for my mind. If I want to be creative or find inspiration to solve a problem in my business or in my life then I need to find space in my mind to enable me to source the solutions. Walking is my answer. For me, it is a form of meditation and I get so much more out of it than just keeping healthy.
I found myself getting frustrated that the government was suggesting that walking just 3k steps a day increasing the pace was the best option for the general public. I agree that increasing your pace is good for the heart, but there are so many other benefits to a long walk that you simply can not achieve in ten minutes.
A longer walk can…
- It can improve your mood (a good walk gets rid of the grumps)
- Kick start your creative juices
- Lower your blood pressure
- Keep your legs looking great! (Longer walks prevents varicose veins)
- Help fight depression, cancer, dementia and many other ailments.
I listened to a podcast last week where a 70-year-old guy was talking about how regular longer walks was assisting him with keeping his Parkinson's Disease at bay. (Check out Dan Mullins – My Camino – The Podcast here)
During your walks, if you can increase the pace for a few minutes, then this will have many benefits of the Active 10. I certainly encourage all walkers to try and increase their heart rate at least once or twice during a walk.
I may start including a couple of brief power walks during my Thursday evening saunters!