Fitness trackers and the like are all the rage in the fitness world at the moment. Fitbits, Garmins, Apple Watches selling like hot cakes but who really knows what exactly we are supposed to do with them. What should the data be telling us and what are we aiming for. Well, let me start by saying that these little step counters are the best thing since sliced bread. They work on our desire for information and achievement, and our need for more movement.
For years, trainers and health experts (myself included) jumped on the “10,000 steps a day” bandwagon. This wasn’t a bad wagon to be on, but it didn’t give the full picture. More recent research has given us further valuable information.
Here are the new targets that we should be aiming for when it comes to incidental activity and our use of pedometers.
- To prevent weight gain: 30-60 minutes per day (approximately 50,000 steps a week).
- To lose weight after any weight gain: 60-90 minutes per day (approximately 90,000 steps per week).
- To prevent regaining weight after you have lost it: 60-90 minutes per day (more than 100,000 steps per week).
So, while we all know the 10,000 step per day figure will give us the right amount of activity for a healthy and energetic life, it won’t necessarily be enough if weight loss is high up on your wish list.
Keep in mind two bits of information though. Don’t try to get to 90,000 steps in the first week. Give yourself a month or more to make the lifestyle changes needed for this to become a regular reality. And secondly, this is not something that can be achieved one week and forgotten about the next. If you want success from your activity, consistency is the key.
Now step to it, and good luck!