When 10,000 steps feels like a marathon, how do we get fitter?Jul 11, 2023
Does 10,000 steps really need to be the basis or pinnacle of our wellbeing advice?
For some people, hitting 10k steps a day is a walk in the park...literally.
And it's not bad well-being advice. We know walking is GREAT for our health. Whole body movement, often outside in fresh air, low impact so less risk of injury. It's free. To lots of people it's accessible (though, not for everyone). So it makes sense that this forms a big part of our current health guidelines. Even though 10,000 is a totally arbitrary number.
I've got a watch to monitor to my steps, and I like it when I hit 10k, it does a little vibrate-y celebration for me. But then I have a super-active job, I work relatively part time, I enjoy exercise, and my family like being outdoors. So it makes sense that I can hit 10k, but even if I don't hit 10k, I don't think my health has got worse.
BUT, for some women, hearing this health advice can be much more of a hindrance than a motivation...
Me telling you to get your 10,000 steps in to improve your wellbeing might seem a bit impractical...when the kids woke you up several times last night, and you have to drive to drop the kids off to school and get to your office on time, then you have to sit in long meetings for 8-9hrs, only to return home and cook dinner, clear away, get homework done, tidy the house, and put the kids to bed before sorting the washing, all before you collapse exhausted on the sofa for a bit of downtime - it isn't the most helpful advice, right?
But what if I told you it only takes 5 minutes to do something that would have a positive impact on your wellbeing?
Sure you could maybe park further away from the office to get some steps in, but not helpful when you're already running late from the school run.
Yes, you could take the kids for a walk after dinner, but they take so long to get out the house that it only pushes bedtime back further.
Of course, you could wake up an hour before the kids to go for a run and journal...but they already get up at 5.30am...4.30am does not feel particularly appealing.
But how does 5 minutes sound? What if you could devote just a few minutes each day to something so powerful?
It doesn't matter what activity you do - stretch, squats and kitchen counter press ups, dance, climb the stairs, find a YouTube clip to follow.
What matters is that you consistently incorporate those 5 minutes into your day - maybe it's right after you wake up, or whilst the kids eat brekkie, or as soon as they drift off to sleep.
The point is you train your body to move a little, you teach your brain the value of a movement habit, and your mind learns that self-care is important.
Maybe it'll feel hard to start with even to do 5 minutes, when life is hectic.
But then you become someone that takes care of themselves even though life is hectic.
And before you know it that 5-minute movement habit has changed your life.
Want to hear more of this real life advice that actually works? Hop over to my friendly Facebook group Women.Fitness.Balance with Sarah
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