Getting healthy and in shape doesn’t have to mean countless hours in the gym. As awesome as your 1 hour with your personal trainer is, it’s what you do during the other 23 hours of the day that ultimately defines the state of your health. Especially if your daily routine involves sitting for prolonged periods or you need some extra motivation to get more active. Why not join the Tiger Athletic team for the 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge? We’re kicking things off May 2, 2019, and going through the whole month.
How to Join the Challenge
- Measure your daily steps, using a fitness tracker, a smartwatch or your smartphone.
- Join the challenge on the Tiger Athletic Challenge Group. We’ll be posting lots of helpful info and tips, answering all your questions and connecting you to other members of the community who are joining you for the challenge.
- Post your progress to the group. Keep the rest of the community updated with your daily walking by posting screenshots of your step-counting app or photos of your fitness tracker or what you saw on your daily walk. Maybe you walked through the park at lunch or took a hike over the weekend. We want to see it!
Why 10,000 Steps a Day?
There’s no abracadabra regarding the number 10,000, it’s about what it represents, getting off your bum and walking around.
Originally, according to UC Davies Integrative Medicine, the number 10,000 came from a Japanese pedometer first marketed in the 1960s, called “manpo-kei,” which translates to 10 000-step meter. Since that time, however, research has confirmed the health benefits of us walking more. A 2000 study from the journal Hypertension Research showed that people who took 10,000 steps a day had lower blood pressure and a 2003 study published in Preventative Medicine found that it improved glucose tolerance.
Conversely, a 2009 study in an issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who only walked 5,000 steps were more likely to have poor cardiometabolic health, which can heighten the risk of diabetes, heart disease and/or stroke. This was further backed by a 2017 study from the International Journal of Obesity that found a link between more time spent sedentary and larger waist circumferences and increased risk for coronary heart disease.
How Does The Challenge Work?
The purpose simply stated is to get you moving! Every day is about being as active as possible, with a goal of walking at least 10,000 steps a day! You can track this with your wrist fitness tracker or through your smartphone. Then check out the Tiger Athletic Challenge Group for details on weekly challenges, fitness tips, products and news.
Week 1: Try Walking A Little Bit More
Welcome, you’ve made the commitment to getting and staying active through making tiny adjustments to your daily activity level, and I’m elated to help you change your life. For week 1 of the 10,000 steps challenge, get a baseline for how much you walk a day, and then challenge yourself to walk just a little bit more. 10 000 steps may seem unreachable or may seem like ‘easy work’, whatever your lifestyle you can benefit from this challenge.
If you’re leading a largely sedentary lifestyle, that’s okay, there is no time like now, focus on walking a little more each day and work your way up to 10,000. If you’re ahead of the curve, maintain your effort and try to add something new like some squats or situps to the routine to keep yourself challenged and engaged.
Get the Most From the 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge
- Establish a baseline. Check how many steps you’re currently taking a day on average. Save that number for the end of the challenge to track your progress.
- Every couple of hours through the day, take a look at the number of steps you’ve already logged. Are you on track? If not, get moving! Set a reminder on your phone or be mindful to walk to the water station, around your office or building.
- If you’re going to commit to the challenge, make sure you keep your tracker or phone charged and with you at all times.
- Set smaller goals for yourself. Regardless of what your baseline number is, think about where you want to be at the end of this challenge. Do you want to finally hit 10,000, or do you want to be able to climb up the stairs without getting winded or finish that park run?
Week 2: Get Creative To Log More Steps
Congratulations on making it through week 1 and welcome to week 2! I hope you are feeling energized and pumped to work just a little bit harder this week. If you haven’t hit the 10 000 steps per day mark yet that’s perfectly fine, there are plenty of people gearing towards the same goal. Keep posting your daily tally on the Tiger Athletic Challenge Group and get encouraged by what other people are doing. Now that you have established a baseline and know how much you walk in a day, here are a couple of fun and creative ways to get you moving more.
- Pace around your home while you brush your teeth.
- Walk around the kitchen while coffee brews or the microwave is on.
- Park the car at the other end of the parking lot from work or the store.
- If there are two bathrooms at work or wherever you happen to spend the majority of your day, use the one that’s farther away or even one on a different floor so you have to take the stairs.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, between meetings or errands.
- If you have a phone call or meeting, take a walk while you do it.
- Take your pet for a long walk or walk a friend’s dog.
- If the shop is close enough, walk there!
- Take your afternoon coffee break walking distance from your office.
- Play tag or some other game that involves a lot of movement.
- If possible take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Carry shopping bags from your car to the house one at a time.
- Pace the room while the commercials are on.
- Take the long way to the printer or water fountain.
- Pick up litter around your office or neighborhood.
- Pace when you’re waiting for an appointment.
- Instead of sending an email, walk over to your co-worker’s desk.
- Skip the drive-thru and dance around the kitchen while you cook.
- Clean your home.
- Do some work around the yard like mow the lawn or rake leaves.
- Take an extra lap around the supermarket.
Seems silly but every step adds up, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can reach 10 000 steps. Basically, if you can walk somewhere, you should walk somewhere!
Week 3: Involve Friends and Colleagues
Wow! Its week 3 already and you are going from strength to strength. In week 1, you established a baseline, In week 2 you got creative with your steps and upped the ante. Let’s add some excitement and maybe a little friendly competition, this week it’s time to get your friends, co-workers, family members, neighbors – EVERYONE – involved.
Can Friends Help You Reach Your Goals?
The benefits of teaming up as accountability partners to get moving are a no brainer to work out, you’ll be more likely to stick with it until the end if someone you know I doing it as well.
People who have fit and active friends were more likely to be fit and active themselves as published in a study in Nature Communications in 2017. This backs up another study from 2010 in the Journal of Social Sciences that stated that people mimic the exercise habits of those around them and a 2016 study in the journal Obesity, that said obese participants lost more weight if they spent time around their fit friends.
Fit friends help motivate us to get started, they also help us stay the course and complete whatever program we’re on. According to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 95 percent of participants who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, while only 76 percent of those who participated alone finished. Additionally, the group with friends was 42 percent more likely to maintain their weight loss at the conclusion.
Healthy friends keep us accountable, motivate us to keep going, model healthy behaviors, provide friendly competition and make us happier throughout the process! This week your mission is to get 1 person to join your journey.
Week 4: Turn It Up!!!
Just how active can you get? Our goal this week is to try and set a new personal best, everyday! We all have responsibilities…,families, work, life to attend to…..TRY!!! It’s absoutely incredible that you are now in week 4 of the 10000 step a day challenge. You probably haven’t thought about this but by now you have walked in the neighborhood of 210 000 steps.
So How Far Have You Walked?
10 000 steps equate to about 7.6 kilometers or an hour and 40 minutes walking, depending on your stride length and walking speed. By now, if you’ve walked 10 000 steps per day you’ve covered about 160km! Whats 160km from you?
How High Have You Climbed?
What about if you turned those walking steps into climbing steps? How do your daily steps compare to some of the world’s tallest staircases and buildings?
- The longest staircase in the Guinness World Records can be found going up Niesen Mountain in Switzerland with 11 674 steps.
- Burj Khalifa is the current tallest building in the world and has 2 909 steps to get to the 160th floor. Visitors aren’t allowed to use the stairs, so every time you walk 3 000 steps you’ve reached the top!
- The annual race up the 1 860 steps to the top of the Empire State seems daunting until you realize that you have been walking 10 000 steps per day!
Realistically though, walking steps and climbing stairs isn’t exactly a one-to-one comparison, but you get the idea. If they were, however, how many times in a day could you climb the Burj Khalifa given your average step count?
How Many Calories Have You Burned?
Too far fetched to imagine? Here are some points a little more applicable to your daily life, calories burned! A lot of variables, of course, come into play, but the American Council on Exercise (ACE) estimates that the average person burns 3,500 calories per week walking 10,000 steps a day, even simpler, 500 calories a day
The brisker you walk or as we like to say, the more you turn up the intensity, the more calories you burn. If instead of focusing on shorter stints around your home or office, start trying to take more brisk walks around the block or up and down your street. Depending on your weight, walking 10,000 steps burns between 250 and 600 calories.
Be The Best You
Dare yourself to add an additional half an hour walking to your daily routine, commit to a weekend hike or simply discover your neighborhood. It’s impossible to walk all day every day so pick one day, maybe the last day of this challenge and go for your all-time best daily step count record.
Then share it on the Tiger Athletic Challenge Group We want to hear about how far you walked, where you went and what you felt like. Did you discover another stunning hiking trail in beautiful South Africa? or A fun farmers market to stroll through on the weekend? Tell us!
Tiger Athletic Fitness & Conditioning is a private, appointment only gym in the heart of Sandton. We use an individualized approach to assess, motivate, coach and educate you regards your fitness and health needs.