10,000 Steps

Have you ever wondered why this seems to have become some kind of world-wide target to achieve every day? I have. Why not 12,000, or even 5,000? When my wife used to use a Fitbit watch, it made a noise and showed a picture of a rocket taking off when she reached 10,000 steps.

I have never counted steps. I work out my routine the old way. (Or at least I thought it was the old way)

My walking pace when out with Ollie is around three miles per hour. On harder ground this may increase slightly, and will surely decrease when walking in deep mud, or flooded fields. So if I am out walking for two hours, and I don’t sit down or stand still chatting for any length of time, I have walked around six miles. If I am out for as long as five hours in good weather, then that could be as much as twelve miles, allowing for short rests, or pausing to take photos.

Bur four hours in good weather is more usual, so let’s say ten miles a day in those conditions.

Assuming bad weather for almost nine months of every year, I walk for two hours each day. That’s six miles a day, seven days a week. So forty-two miles a week, in bad weather. Perhaps seventy miles a week when there is no rain or mud.

I don’t think I need to count steps.

But if you do, then here is an interesting short article about why 10,000 steps has become the ‘magic number’, and why you may not need to walk that many anyway.
https://theconversation.com/do-we-really-need-to-walk-10-000-steps-a-day-153765?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

79 thoughts on “10,000 Steps

  1. When running errands with my sister, I have to be prepared to have her park as far away as possible from the destination so she can get to her 10,000 steps. I tell her that I think stairs should count as double so maybe we can skip the distance parking. It doesn’t work.

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  2. That was a very interesting article. I try to get 90 minutes of activity per day which my watch tracks. On the days I go for a run, I get it easily. Other days are now a bit tougher because I am no longer walking to the train station and then walking to work but I do have the school run to get me out of the house. That does give me about 5,000 steps even on the days I don’t run so hopefully I am not going to keel over just yet.

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  3. I walk anyway but if I want to do a few more it does a happy dance when I reach 10,000 but I am not obsessive about it my average is between 5-6000 a day which I am happy with…I didn’t know about the arms though…mine is a Huawei and if I am charging my watch and pop my phone in my bag it registers my steps ..interesting …Stay warm, Pete it sounds cold in the UK x

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  4. Walking has become my daily routine during the pandemic since I can get to the gym or swim. The workout is never as good, but it still helps my mental health. I have three regular places I like to walk, and it wasn’t long before I recognized many of the same folks. Now, we often stop for a socially distant quick chat. That feels good, too, as I miss being around other people. 3-4 miles a day. I don’t need a step counter. I pay attention to how long I walk.

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    1. A Fitbit actually measures arm movements, rather than steps, Candy. If you walk with your arms firmly at your sides, it will register zero steps. πŸ™‚
      Sit in a chair and swing your arms as if marching, and you can add as many ‘steps’ as you like.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know about the arm thing πŸ˜‰ I went through a little obsessive “get my 10,000 steps phase” and was stuck on a plane. So I shook my arm up and down until I hit 10,000 LOL
        It also drove me crazy that it wouldn’t register my steps while pushing a baby carriage around! I was always pushing it with one hand so I wouldn’t get cheated.
        You know…now that I think about it, maybe my Apple watch and its little activity rings are better than the old Fitbit, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My Fitbit died a few weeks ago and I just ordered a new one. I seem to be walking less without it, though that could also be weather related! I always figured 10,000 steps was arbitrary. You can set your own target and last time I set mine for 8,000, also arbitrary but it seemed to work for me. Just doing normal activities I usually made 4 or 5,000 steps. If I purposely went out for a longer walk I’d make 8 – 10,000 steps and was encouraged by the little burst on the display. Probably having a dog would work even better! πŸ˜‰

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    1. I bought my wife a new model, but she couldn’t set it up on a different phone, so gave up using it. It is in its box in the bedroom. πŸ™‚
      Cats don’t seem to do many steps, but they stay sleek!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Walking is the best way to stay healthy, and you certainly are doing that Pete…add in the psychological lift from spending that much one-on-one time with Ollie and it sounds like the perfect prescription!

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    1. It is working well for me, John. Though I confess I cut it short today (90 minutes) due to torrential rain and having to walk through water where the river had overflowed. Back in the warm, with a pizza and wine to follow later! (Snow forecast for the next 2-3 days)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. I used to do so much walking and achieved 10 half marathons in my early 50s. Did I mention I’m rather competitive? I still enjoy walking and should do more. I’m now doing more cycling which is far more enjoyable during summer.
    The link between anything that’s good for your heart will ward off dementia is a debatable one. It hits randomly even when everything is done correctly. Moral of that story eat more cake, walk and be merry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding your thoughts, and your own experience, Suzanne. Your track record (no pun intended) is admirable indeed, and far more than I could do now. I did once cycle from London to Brighton, a distance of almost 50 miles. But I was only 14 years old at the time, and come home by train with my bike in the guard’s van. The next day I could hardly stand, let alone walk. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Only problem with more exercise and then reducing it is the motivation to reduce the food intake. There lies the problem πŸ™„ I do long distance on my bike though it’s electric for that extra help up hills when the knees play up and the energy wanes πŸ™‚

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    1. I only do it because of Ollie. If I ever lose him, I am going to have to think about what else to do. It has been pouring with rain all day, with snow forecast for tonight. If not for Ollie, I doubt I would have left the house.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. My wife has had the vaccine because she works at a Doctor’s Practice so is considered to be an ‘essential worker’. I am 69 in March, so may qualify at the end of that month. I think the lockdowns are a good thing. Every time they have been relaxed too soon, infections have spiked.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting Pete. I average about 7k as I have a dreadfully sedentary job. I have the Google fit app and focus more on heart rate. So I achieve more in 30 minutes on the punchbag than the rest of the day. As long as you’re enjoying it…..and of course mental health is key πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I don’t do anything like that amount. Even with a one hour walk we rarely reach much more than 5000 steps. But surely it’s just about moving which keeps us healthy ( I won’t say fit). And simply walking around the house, doing chores, is good for us. I get that sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is not good, but I find this obsession to do 10000 steps every day isn’t necessarily good either. Like Jon said, better to enjoy the activity, rather than feel you have to achieve something. Thanks for the article Pete.

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  10. It’s very easy to become obsessed with health, and I’m always wary of targets, because falling short is a sure-fire way of inducing anxiety. My own view is that it’s better to try to enjoy the activity, whatever it is, rather than always having to ‘achieve’ something [is that ‘mindfulness’? Maybe I was ahead of the curve!]; then again, I never was competitive in life πŸ˜‰ Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have to take my dog out, so that’s my only exercise. It is complusory, though it can also be very pleasurable in nice weather. If I didn’t have a dog, I might well be very unhealthy. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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