Just a quick question before we dive straight into the article – how many of you reading this are currently wearing a fitness band/bracelet?
Well, at a guess, I’d say about 99% of you, right?
Well I recently joined the ‘Fitbit club’ when my partner bought me one as a gift – I’d recently returned to running and she wanted to know if I was overdoing it or not!
I have to admit – so far I’m rather impressed by how they manage to ‘push’ you into doing more every day – they are like a constant nag or reminder that clings to your wrist…and that can’t be bad from a health point of view, right?
But how much of a difference can these fitness bands make IF we are unable to judge what exercise level is effective for us?
For instance, how many steps per day to lose weight?
In this article we will be taking a closer look at the correct fitness paths to take with these handy little trackers, checking out the levels and pinpointing their advantages…
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How Many Steps a Day to Lose Weight?
A simple Google search on this very subject will bring up an absolute landslide of articles that all point to one number – 10,000.
That’s right, apparently all of us should be aiming for at least 10,000 steps a day with our shiny new fitness bands!
That’s fine – sounds about right…but can this stationary number work out for everyone? is that number appropriate for everyone?
The 10,000 Steps Gig
To be brutally honest with you – I had not really heard that much about the 10,000 step mantra BEFORE I got hold of my fitness band. I’m more old school – just run a decent amount of distance every day and you’ll do just fine!
But, this 10,000 step setup is traceable as far back as the 1960’s in Japan. They figured out that depending on a person’s stride length, 10,000 steps correlates to approximately five miles.
Remember now – this is way back in the 60’s…and people had slightly different lifestyles back then.
These days it’s thought that the ‘desk job’ generations are racking up nowhere near 10,000 steps. In fact, most adults struggle to reach 5,000 steps.
Do Fitness Trackers Really Work?
First things first – do these fitness devices really work or are we wasting time (and wrist space!) by wearing them?
Well, you are always going to get the controversial articles in the health niche that sh#t on everything new – this is part of the game I’m afraid.
Besides, these types of articles are designed as ‘click bait’ and easily make their way onto social media – most of the time they are not based on any sort of fact (they are just designed to disagree with fact).
Recent studies show that fitness trackers do show a moderate effect on increasing step count and/or physical activity – FACT.
On top of this, older patients involved in the study lost weight and had decreased LDL levels after 12 to 14 weeks of use (their main aim was to rack up 10,000 steps a day!).
There have also been numerous reports from various work sectors about ‘office fitness’. Apparently certain work locations actually promote this step tracking lifestyle and openly motivate employees to increase their physical activity.
I feel a lot of this success is down to human nature – at last we have a visual record of the amount of exercise we are getting through in day to day life, a tangible record of our daily activities really does seem to make a difference.
Tips to Get More Steps
A lot of individuals seem to like building up to the 10,000 steps mark but I was certainly not one of them. The moment I got the tacker on my wrist I was off with the default setting…which was 10,000 steps.
A quick link with an app on my phone (which I now never use!) and away I went.
If 10,000 steps is the minimum ‘sweet spot’, why waste your time building up to it?
It may seem like a lot of work when you first get your fitness tracker but you’ll soon realise that you move A LOT more in a daily period than you initially thought!
- If you see stairs USE THEM! The elevator is out of the question once you are wearing a fitness tracker.
- Quit sending emails – get up and walk to the colleague in question (besides, it’s nice to chat sometimes!) 🙂
- Don’t use the toilet closest to your desk/office/floor – pick a new one and walk there every time nature calls.
- Grab some lunch outside the office and have a walk when eating (weather dependent of course!)
- Use phone alerts to remind you to get off your ass and move!
- After a big meal go for a walk – slumping down on the sofa to recover from your over-stuffing will NOT help you lose weight.
- How often do you exercise as a family? Ever thought about grabbing the kids and going out for a healthy hike? Maybe a walk around town or the city center?
Do you wear a fitness tracker and are you aiming for at least 10,000 steps a day? We would love to hear your opinions on this subject – please leave them in the comment section below.