So it’s a new year and as usual seems like a good time to set some new goals… I don’t like the term “New Year’s Resolutions”
Like many folk with an office job we sit behind a screen for the best part of 9hrs a day, if not more. This isn’t great for the body and mind in any way shape or form. And it doesn’t help when you’re getting older either.
So in late December 2021 I decided to set myself a 2022 goal to achieve 10k steps a day, from Monday to Friday. Yes, many may say why not just go for a run?
OK, some personal history. In my case I was pretty active in my early twenties. I was a triathlete for four years where I trained to compete in the IRONMAN (3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run). Sadly I only managed to compete in a Half IRONMAN (1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run) event as the sport just got too expensive for me to sustain. I then stuck to running and competed in and finished the 89.9km Comrades Ultra Marathon a year later. After that I slowed down a bit and got married two years later. All exercise pretty much stopped there, and then the kids came along and exercise ceased - personal choice as time with my kids was more important.
In recent years I have tried running again but the punishment my body went through in those 5 years comes back to bite me every time I try. I do entertain the MTB every now and then, but that takes a bit longer so it’s weekend stuff.
The truth is I’m never going to get back to those fitness levels again, the time investment alone makes it unrealistic as a young family rather deserves this time… in my opinion. So walking seemed to be the next best option. But not just everyday walking to the smoko or around the office, I’m talking about brisk walking, outdoors, in the fresh air, for more that 30min. But before I started I wanted to find out where this “10k steps a day” benchmark came from. Another history lesson - Apparently a Japanese company, Yamasa Corporation built a campaign for their new step-tracker off the momentum of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The pedometer’s brand name — Manpo-Kei means “10,000 step meter” in English — and a new phenomenon was born.
Further research indicates that between 7000 and 9999 steps is the optimal number to derive meaningful health benefits. I think the important thing for me is that this goal is achievable and sustainable and weather conditions don’t bother me much.
So come on, get off ya chairs and go for a brisk 30-60min walk during lunch!