February is all about getting your steps up! In fact, The Healthy Mummy is launching an exciting 28 Day Step Challenge! Along with the 8 week Challenge that kicks off on 31st January, anyone with the Healthy Mummy App can take part!
The aim of this challenge is to gradually get yourself up from 2,000 steps a day up to 10,000 steps a day in just four weeks.
You don’t need an apple watch or pedometer to do this challenge, as it’s all in the time spent walking. You just have to log your steps/time spent walking in The Healthy Mummy app.
Heaps of prizes to be won!
Not only will you be benefiting your health and giving your weight loss a boost, by logging your steps in the Healthy Mummy App and sharing your achievements in the Healthy Mummy Support group, you will get the chance to win a HEAP of amazing prizes!
Each week we’ll be giving away some incredible prize packs for those taking part in the Step Challenge!
Make sure you check in with the Healthy Mummy community for motivation, support and to win some of the fantastic prizes on offer!
So what’s Involved?
Use this chart as a guide to build your steps up gradually throughout the 28 Days.
Now, you may look at this chart and think, where am I going to find the time to get my steps in?! We’ve got heaps of tips below!
Typically, an inactive person will walk around 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day so with a little focus and commitment, you can easily bump that number up! And you will most definitely see and FEEL the benefits.
Take it from Kerrie O’Brien! Kerrie lost over 20 kilos with the Healthy Mummy and doing a daily step challenge! Kerrie committed to continue to getting her 10,000 steps in and she’s been doing just that and maintaining her weight loss for three years! See her incredible story and how she make sure she hits her daily step count below.
Why 10,000 steps a day?
Walking 10,000 steps a day is considered a benchmark for staying fit and healthy.
In the 1960s in Japan, a researcher called Dr Yoshiro Hatano discovered that to remain at our optimum health we needed to be burning 20% of our calorie intake. Which on average, happened to be 10,000 steps.
Now The World Health Organisation recommends that people reach this goal each day to improve their health.
It’s an easy target to follow and can also motivate you to ditch the car and get moving, but sometimes it’s not easy to hit that goal every day.
How to burn calories by walking
It seems more and more people have turned to walking during the global pandemic when gyms and exercise classes were called off.
But getting your daily steps in should not be looked down on – walking is one of the BEST ways to lose weight.
Plus, it doesn’t put pressure on your body like other exercises, especially if you are recovering from an injury.
What’s more, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and clear you mind, which is good for your mental health. And you don’t need a personal trainer.
With proper form and intensity, a brisk walk is a proven way to burn calories, tone your body and lose stomach fat.
So let’s get creative – ways to bump your activity to 10K steps
WHILE AT HOME
Instead of standing waiting/talking/watching TV, pace the room at the same time.
Take one item at a time back to their living place.
Again, walk one item from the machine to the line at a time (you’ll be surprised how many steps this can add)
4. Phone calls
Make sure to take the call on your mobile so you can walk and talk.
WHILE AT WORK
5. Bus stop
Get off the bus one stop before work and walk the rest of the way.
Instead of the elevator, take the stairs.
7. Visit co-workers
Instead of emailing or phoning your co-workers, walk to their office.
8. Coffee breaks
If you are having a coffee meeting, make it a walking meeting.
9. Treadmill or standing desk
Reminders – especially at work where you sit all day, set reminders to get up and move every hour.
OUT AND ABOUT
10. Coffee dates
Instead of sitting in a cafe, make them a walking date.
11. Park dates
While the kids play, you walk the perimeter or why not add a swing set work out.
12. Increase intensity
While running errands strap your baby to your back, walk up hills etc.
Park in the furthest spot from the shops, instead of the closest.
14. Avoid escalators
I find these days there don’t seem to be stairs so much anymore, but if there are, find them.
15. Be inefficient
While at the grocery store, go back and forth rather than systematically going down each aisle.
16. Kindy/school drop off
Walk! And get the kids to scoot or bike ride.
Speaking of scooters and bikes, while they ride, you run next to them.
With all these ways to add steps in to your day, there will be no excuse not to smash that 10K steps goal and even up it to 12,500 and be considered highly active!
4 tips to improve your walking exercise techniques
1. A good walking technique is crucial to losing weight
The secret is to visualise a target 5 metres ahead, and walk at a fairly quick pace towards that target.
Keep your chest raised and your shoulders relaxed. Breathe deeply and pretend that you are always walking on a straight line.
Don’t exert too much effort in elongating your steps. Swing your hands in time with your steps (unless you are walking with a pram, of course!) as you walk to support your momentum.
2. Find a comfortable pace
Your most natural and comfortable pace is best, as your brisk walking goal is to achieve longevity, aiming for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Your speed and distance will come as you get familiar with the routine. Try walking for a few metres until you find the most suitable pace before you hit the road.
3. Set walking goals and schedules
Create a plan and stick to it. Set a schedule of 30 minutes a day to begin with, then grow from that. As soon as you get a comfortable pace and technique, you can start measuring your walking distance using pedometers.
Purchase a pedometer, which can be found at most sporting goods stores, or check your running distance through free online pedometers before or after your routine.
4. Be familiar with your route
Health experts have advised us that we need to walk 10,000 steps a day to keep healthy (and some even say we should aim for 12,000 if we’re under 40). That’s around 8 kilometres a day, so it’s understandable if you don’t hit this goal right away.
We recommend that you find a spot 4 kilometres away from your starting point so you can walk 4 kilometres to it and then 4 kilometres back. That way you would have completed your 10,000 steps before you even know it.
Incorporate a brisk walk into your 28 Day Diet and Exercise Plan. Remember this plan is your transformation to a new and healthier you.
Kerrie O’Brien’s amazing step story
The 52-year-old is a full-time homeschooling mum and a part time working mum, so she wanted to find ways to be creative and keep herself moving.
“15 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which was quite crippling when I was overweight after having both my children later in life,” she says.
“Walking is a great aerobic exercise to help maintain heart health. So this is a bit of background why I started my daily goal of achieving 10,000 steps.”
Initially, Kerrie set herself a goal of getting in as many steps as she could.
“I smashed my goal that week and enjoyed it so much I decided to set myself a goal of continuing it for a month,” she says.
“And then once I made it for a month I thought I’d try for three months and before I knew it I was aiming for a year of continuous steps every day over 10,000 steps. I’m now at Day 1197 in a row so it’s been over three years and I’m still going!”
How Kerrie did it
To achieve these steps each day, she started adding in a small walk each day around the neighbourhood to her exercise routine.
On the days when she was busy or couldn’t leave the house she would do things like this:
1. Do a lap walking around the kitchen while drying a plate.
2. When putting away laundry put one item away at a time, lapping the house back and forth.
3. Do laps of the house. It’s amazing how you can do the equivalent of a 30 minute power walk just walking around your own house if you do it with purpose! This was great for rainy days
7. When going to the shops I’d make sure I parked further away than necessary so I would have to walk more.
8. In shopping centres I’d take stairs over the lift or elevator
9. I wouldn’t go to bed each night until I reached my 10,000 steps and sometimes that required pacing the hallway a bit
10. Basically just always looking for ways to move my body more and get those steps up
“As a result of the daily step goals I’ve kept the weight off for the last three years,” she says.
“Walking these steps regularly has also contributed to my increased aerobic fitness and lowered my heart rate which is a fabulous benefit for me having had heart problems.
“I usually average 11-12K steps most days most weeks, or 13-14K in busy weeks. Considering when I started these step challenges with myself I was only averaging 6-7K steps this has been almost double the number of steps.
“It’s been an awesome challenge to teach me consistency, healthy habits, and to maintain my health as I get older and minimise my previous health issues.
“It’s also made us more active as a family and my kids often join me for a walk or ride their scooters alongside me as I walk. So it’s been a win win all around!”
More about the 28 Day Step Challenge
Commit to the 10,000 step challenge and gradually work your way up to doing 10,000 steps a day!
This Challenge is for beginners or those who can’t do intense exercise and want to get themselves into shape and slowly build up their step count.
The first day of Feb Challenge begins Jan 31st.
Print off the Goal Chart
If you prefer you can also download and print out this handy goal chart, stick it on the fridge or your motivation board and tick off your steps or time spent walking. That way you have a great visual record or your success!
Get fit and healthy with the Healthy Mummy
If you are inspired by Kylie’s before and after pics and want to take charge of your own health and weight – then join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge TODAY.
With more than 4,000 delicious (and healthy) recipes, 350+ exercises & 24/7 support – the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is designed (and proven) to help busy mums like you lose weight!
To learn more about our challenge OR to join – click here.