Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!  I hope that you all enjoyed the beautiful weather with your families, good food, and maybe managed to get a few steps in. I got to be here with my family and it was unbelievable:


For the last week, my Bootcampers  and I have been counting our steps for an inter-camp 10,000 Step Challenge. I started the challenge because I was inspired by Olga and the abundant  research that points to the importance of moving throughout the day – on TOP of any workout you do. Here are some great, October-appropriate spooky graphics on why you want to get moving:


What you are aiming for is 10,000 steps a day, which is the minimum recommended amount for an active adult (children need more, older adults not quite as much).

What exactly is 10K steps?

  • The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long.
  • That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile
  • 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles (or 8 km).

What’s in it for me?

If you increase your daily movement to a minimum of 10K steps, you might experience:

  • Better posture and balance
  • Positive self-esteem
  • Mood regulation
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved glucose levels
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Increased energy
  • Relaxation and reduced stress
  • Continued independent living in later life

Blah blah blah talk to me about weight loss:


  • You will burn (on average) ,about 100 calories per mile traveled.
  • So,  your 10K steps is equal to about 500 calories:



So now let me tell you a little bit about how personal trainers work.

When we first take on a new client, the first phase is to observe and learn about where your client is at right now, their ‘baseline’ of fitness. So we’ll do some standard assessments and observe some of the primary movement patterns and exertion levels of our new client. Like this:

During the course of this week, I have discovered that my baseline is about 13,000 steps in a day. Yay for me -I’m above average (average for a North American adult is 5,900 steps a day) and easily hit the recommended daily target.
So now I have a choice:
I can choose that I’m happy to maintain my current fitness level or progress it. (Note: maintenance is totally an acceptable option. It is impossible to constantly progress anything in life. Sometimes it’s time to maintain, and sometimes it’s time to pull back a bit in a recovery phase. If you are struggling with a maintenance or recovery phase, check out my post on How to Not Excercise).
Usually people hire personal trainers because it’s time to progress. So then it’s our job to gradually introduce more challenging work in a way that maximizes results and minimizes injury. It’s called the principal of progressive overload.

To apply this principle to myself I’m going to choose to progress my minimum step goal to 15,000.


I know this isn’t going to happen by accident, so I need to plan for it. My plan is:

  • to start jogging to my workouts
  •  to throw on some music for a dance party with the kids if I’m short on steps in the evening (if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll notice that a dance party is almost always my solution to the problem).


So now I put these questions to you:
  • Do you know how many steps you are getting each day?
  • Are you happy with that?  Or is it time to progress it?
  • What is your target number and what you going to change to make it happen?

Let me know in the comments below!

And then I want to know one more thing…

WHY? Why do you want to increase your steps?

I’ll tell you my ‘why’:

When I first wrote that we were doing a 10,000 step challenge, my lovely friend Kat Inokai at The Bump and Hustle sent me a link to this short indie film she produced (embedded below). It’s about a man who has only 10,000 steps to the end of his life.

Which made me think -There’s going to come a time when I can’t step any more.

When I can’t choose the stairs, or walk to work, or kick leaves with my kids.

But until then, I’m going to get every step in that I can.

It’s one of the many things I have to be thankful for this season.