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Tarran Lee

Online Fitness Coach

The Importance of Daily Steps

We’ve all heard that “10 000 steps per day” is what you should aim for for general fitness. But did you know that this number didn’t originate from doctors or personal trainers?

It was actually part of a marketing campaign!

In the 1960s, Japanese company Yamasa Tokei produced the first commercial pedometer, and named it Manpo-kei, which translates to 10,000 step metre. In addition, the number “10,000” written in Japanese actually looks like a person walking and it’s simply an easy, round number to remember. Oh, marketing!

Studies since have shown that there’s no magical number for cardiovascular fitness and the more you can do the better. 

Now, when it comes to fat loss specifically we also know that incorporating more movement in your day leads to greater NEAT and therefore more chance of greater fat loss.

So what’s this NEAT?

Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is the amount of energy you spend doing unconscious little movements throughout the day that aren’t actually exercise. These include typing on the keyboard, talking, fidgeting, wiggling your toes, etc. 

As you diet and are on lower calories for longer periods of time your NEAT decreases – your body adapts and makes you tired, you don’t move as much and this is a contributing factor to the ‘plateau’ so many people experience during a fat loss phase.

So when embarking on a fat loss phase we include daily steps to ensure you are contributing to your NEAT sufficiently and these steps are likely to increase during your fat loss phase to combat the ‘plateau’.

So why are my steps different to someone else?

Metabolically we are all different – so our needs are different. Including steps!

A landscaper who is moving all day is going to have a higher daily NEAT than an office worker who sits all day. So we might give the office worker a higher daily step target to increase their NEAT.

A single person with no children might go home and sit when they finish work for the night, but a married person with kids goes home from work and has washing, cooking, running around the backyard, cleaning the kitchen…..so they naturally have a higher NEAT than the single person.

So how do I know my NEAT or step target?

Online Fitness Coaching with me is about You!

When clients work with me, I get to know everything about them. Their home lives, their work lives, their daily transport choices and so much more. This allows me to gain an understanding of each client’s metabolic health and therefore their step target. Using this knowledge I can then modify and change to achieve results through fat loss, maintenance and even surplus phases.

Whether you work with me or not, the benefits of daily steps are worth it. There are some ways you can ensure you increase your overall NEAT and daily steps.

  1. Build in a daily walk. Schedule time for a daily walk. Set reminders to help you get the habit going. 
  2. Take mini-walks. Divide your day into three parts (morning, afternoon, and evening) and commit to taking a 10 to 15-minute walk at each one of those times.
  3. Talk in person. Rather than instant-messaging or emailing with coworkers, get up and walk to their desks.
  4. Go the extra mile. Consciously choose to walk a bit further whenever you have the option during the day. For example, park further away at work and walk longer to your building. Skip fighting over a close spot at the grocery store and park further back; all those steps count!
  5. Skip the magazines/your phone in the waiting room. Walk while waiting for appointments instead of sitting in the waiting room.
  6. Take the stairs. Yes, this is likely the most popular tip when it comes to getting more steps, but this one comes with a twist. Once you get to the floor or level you’re heading to, turn around and go back down, and then repeat the process.
  7. Walk and talk. Whenever possible, try to take your phone calls in places where you can walk or pace back and forth while talking. This even works for meetings.
  8. Walk during your kids’ activities. If you have kids who play sports or participate in an activity that you have to be present for, walk during their practices or events instead of sitting and watching.

Incorporate one or all of these tips into your daily routine to help you on your way to increasing your daily steps. Reach out if you want to work with me to learn more!

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