Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Aiming for 10,000 steps daily may seem intimidating, but fitness expert Joanna Dase reveals how you can do it. The first step involves assessing how many steps you already do within a usual 24-hour period. By downloading a step count app, across three days, you can document how many steps you typically take. Once you’ve established your usual step count, you can aim for an extra 1,000 steps daily.
“The gradual increase will allow your body to work at its own pace and not feel exhausted,” said Dase.
To sneak in more steps, think about everyday life; for example, when you go food shopping, you are usually unaware how many steps you take.
“The countless aisles you walk down, and time taken to go to each shop can all add up,” Dase reassured.
“While shopping, you can increase your step count even more. You can take the long way round town to get to your destination, park a little further away from the shops than usual or even take a lap around the entire shop before you start shopping.”
If you take the bus, Dase recommends getting off a stop earlier before you go to the supermarket.
In fact, if you use public transport in your daily endeavours, hopping off one stop early and walking the rest of the way can really help to up your step count.
“By walking at a brisk pace, you could easily increase your step count,” said Dase.
“The first few times you do this, it will be difficult, and you’ll be tempted to not continue.”
Case emphasised: “However, it’s important to keep going as it’ll form a habit and promote heart and lung health.”
The NHS noted that a brisk walk can also help you to build stamina and burn excess calories.
How do I know if I’m walking fast enough?
The health body noted: “You can tell you’re walking briskly if you can still talk but cannot sing the words to a song.”
When it comes to taking a walk for yourself, or if taking a dog for a walk, it can help to tune into a podcast.
“Podcasts are a great way to keep you occupied during a walk and can help pass time quicker,” said Dase.
“Choose episodes that are up to the length of time you need to hit your step count,” Dase added.
“And as your brain will be focused on the podcast, not how long the walk is, you’ll easily reach your fitness goals.”
Dase pointed out that “you’d be surprised how your actions become habits”.
She elaborated: “If you enter a shop and the escalators are in full view, you’d be more inclined to choose this option.
“However, taking the stairs will increase your step count and leg power.
“If there are too many flights of stairs for you to take, use the lift or escalators for halfway and walk the rest.
“Getting used to stair climbing will help you build and maintain healthy bones and joints.”
Joanna Dase is a fitness expert at Curves.eu.
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