Six steps to get the most from your 10k

With the 10,000 steps-a-day mantra long ingrained in our minds as a key fitness benchmark, renowned PT & wellness expert Rachael Sacerdoti, is shedding light on the myths that surround this one-size-fits-all approach.

In our fast-paced lives, we often find ourselves chasing step goals to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And while aiming for 10,000 steps can sometimes be a helpful goal, it really shouldn’t be regarded as the sole indicator of a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Contrary to popular belief, focusing solely on achieving the recommended 10,000 steps per day is not a foolproof solution for a healthy lifestyle or to achieve weight loss,” explains Rachael Sacerdoti, Founder of It’s So Simple. “My advice is to adopt a blend of cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and flexibility exercises to achieve a well-rounded fitness routine.”

Emphasising the importance of incorporating strength training into one’s routine to optimise calorie burning and trigger weight loss, Rachael believes that we either “use it or lose it when it comes to our muscles.” With muscle mass naturally decreasing as we age, picking up some weights is one of the most effective ways to invest in your strength. Along with helping to lift your energy levels and speed up your metabolism, resistance training also helps with mobility, range of motion, balance, and bone density, that walking alone cannot achieve.

Exploring six thought-provoking reasons behind the limitations of this popular step target, Rachael outlines the myths surrounding 10k and shares what we can do to achieve more. From understanding your individual needs to increasing the intensity of your exercise and reaching for the weights, read on for Rachael’s expert advice.

Intensity Matters

“When it comes to physical activity, the intensity matters just as much as the duration,” Rachael explains. Simply racking up steps without considering the pace or intensity can lead to a false sense of accomplishment. She suggests incorporating activities that elevate your heart rate, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, to reap the full benefits of exercise.

Resistance Rules

While walking is widely acclaimed for its numerous cardiovascular benefits, strength training has distinct advantages that should not be overlooked. Shown to enhance bone density, leading to a reduced risk of osteoporosis, especially in women, strength training promises long-term benefits for skeletal health. “Adding some resistance to your routine is vital for building and keeping muscle, particularly as we age,” says Rachael. Aim for 2-3 strength workouts a week to reap the rewards.

Step to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Not everyone’s fitness journey is the same, and setting a fixed step goal for all might not take into account individual differences. “Our bodies have unique requirements,” Rachael emphasises. Understanding your health, fitness levels, and activity preferences can help you set tailored goals that align with your specific needs.

Sedentary Lifestyle Pitfalls

Even if you reach the 10,000-step benchmark, a sedentary lifestyle can still pose risks to your health. “It’s not just about reaching a step count, but also about reducing your sitting time,” Rachael highlights. Sitting is often referred to as the new smoking and so incorporating regular breaks from prolonged inactivity and incorporating strength training exercises alongside your daily steps will ensure a holistic approach to your wellbeing.

Mood Matters

Rachael highlights the importance of considering mental health alongside physical activity. She recommends engaging in activities that improve both cardiovascular fitness and mental wellbeing by reducing stress and enhancing mood. Walking is good for your mood however, engaging in activities like yoga, dance, or hiking will enhance the positive impact, and encourage an all-encompassing approach to personal wellness.

Watching the Trend

Rigidly chasing 10,000 steps without accounting for long-term sustainability can lead to burnout or injury. Instead, Rachael recommends focusing on building a sustainable exercise routine over time, rather than fixating on a specific daily step count. “Whatever your starting point, it’s your progress that is key, and finding activities you genuinely enjoy can help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in the long run,” she advises.

“Incorporating regular physical activity and maintaining a well-balanced diet are cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle,” said Rachael. “By understanding that the 10,000-step guideline is just one component of an effective weight management plan, individuals can adopt a more comprehensive approach to achieve their desired results.”

Offering a wealth of exercise routines on her IG, along with delicious recipes and expert health and wellness tips, Rachael, and her company It’s So Simple is fast becoming the method of choice for those looking to make long-lasting lifestyle changes. For all enquiries see www.itssosimple.co.uk or IG https://www.instagram.com/itssosimple_rs/

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