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How important is step count?

(38 Posts)
Youngatheart00 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:13:51

Have piled on a lot of weight in lockdown, and I was already bordering on overweight. My BMI is now 27 and I want to get back down within the healthy range.

I’ve been much less active than I would usually be pre covid and my step count has dropped from around 8-11k a day down to 2-3k. How much of a difference will it make if I consistently aim for say 7.5k steps a day for several weeks? I hear mixed messages about the impact it will make.

I have had several abdo surgeries (fully healed) which have given me scar tissue and adhesions which make high intensity exercise uncomfortable (that and unfitness!) hence my Q re steps.

OP’s posts: |
tanstaafl Sun 07-Jun-20 11:21:57

It’ll help OP.

I think 25 is the cross over point into ‘overweight’ but BMI is a guide not an absolute.

Changes to diet will have the greatest impact.

Youngatheart00 Sun 07-Jun-20 11:29:18

Thank you. Yes, aware of the 25, which I was teetering just under in normal times but just weighed myself and now in the overweight category.

Changes to diet acknowledged. I’m a terrible cook which doesn’t help and DH is a junk food fiend and I find it hard to decline. I think I will try intermittent fasting and increasing step count, see how that goes for a few weeks.

Christ, if only I had my 20-something metabolism back.

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dudsville Sun 07-Jun-20 14:54:32

Hi OP,

I've also suffered plockdown weight gain. I've never coutned my steps before but I now know that I was doing about 5000 3 times a week. I don't know what I was doing on the 4 days a week that I was at work. I'm now doing 5000 to 8500 a day and calorie counting. I wasn't counting before but I think I must be eting about 1000 less than and the weight is reducing over the 3 or 4 weeks I've been doing it. I too miss my 20 something metabolism when it seems like I thought I would like to drop a few pounds and it just happened in te blink of an eye!

Porridgeoat Sun 07-Jun-20 18:09:17

It’s 100 calories per mile I think? And 10 thousand steps is about 5 miles?

Youngatheart00 Sun 07-Jun-20 18:29:05

Thanks that’s helpful. So 10000 steps would give me around a 500 cal deficit. Can see how being much more sedentary (and drinking more alcohol) has led to roughly a pound weight gain every week. Now just need to reverse that!!!

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SamanthaStripyPants Sun 07-Jun-20 18:37:41

It's the general philosophy of moving more too. The more you are up and about, the less time you are slobbing out on the sofa.

LeGrandBleu Sun 07-Jun-20 19:34:24

OP, it is the food, not the steps. Don't think you will burn 500 calories with the 10000 steps myth

Unless you change what you eat or drink and the frequency of that , you won't see the changes on the scale or maybe you will but in the wrong direction.

SamanthaStripyPants Sun 07-Jun-20 19:41:24

It's the food and the steps. Just create a deficit. It doesn't matter how.

bluebluezoo Sun 07-Jun-20 19:50:53

It helps o/p.

I bought a treadmill. I’m doing 15k steps a day. I borrowed a HR monitor - keeping my hr up at 140 while I walk apparently burns nearly 800 cals an hour. It takes me 75 mins to do the 10000 steps, which is about 7k.

When i was working in the office I’d do about 3k steps. Working at home I barely scratch 1000 sad

I’ve been doing it for two weeks now and have dropped half a stone combined with reasonable eating.

For those that don’t know what they were doing pre lockdown, if you have an iphone the health app has a history of steps.

StrawberryJam200 Sun 07-Jun-20 21:57:13

10 000 steps isn't 5 miles I'm afraid, more like 3.5?

ChanklyBore Sun 07-Jun-20 22:16:05

I’m on 13900 steps today which represents wandering around with kids, so slow steps. My device measures at 9.76km (about 6 miles)

Yesterday was 12657 of which 6,050 were in a 5.5km run (about 3.5miles), so faster steps, but a total of 10.39km (6.4 miles)

So it does depend on the type of steps. But I don’t think 10,000 steps is 3.5 miles - unless you have very short steps.

delilahbucket Sun 07-Jun-20 22:18:28

It is 100 calories per miles ish if you run, not walking. It will make very little difference op. It is something yes, but walking does not burn calories as much as you think it will. Only a diet change will move the scales downwards and if you want to help it along you need a harder cardio than a walk.

Youngatheart00 Sun 07-Jun-20 22:26:29

Looks like it is calorie counting and jogging then.....

I think the generally being busy and eating on the run kept my weight down. Now I’m always within 30 seconds of the fridge 😫

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SamanthaStripyPants Mon 08-Jun-20 00:19:58

Walking is really good for fat burning because your heart rate should be in fat burn mode not cardio mode. Walking is great. I usually burn about 100 calories a mile but I am a fatty.

StrawberryJam200 Mon 08-Jun-20 08:52:04

It really depends on the speed of the walking, doesn't it?

SamanthaStripyPants Mon 08-Jun-20 09:17:33

@StrawberryJam200 possibly but is fast walking not slow jogging?

Youngatheart00 Mon 08-Jun-20 09:37:04

It’s an interesting point - I thought it was the distance not the speed that made the difference. Ie would burn the same calories on a 3 mile walk as I would a 3 mile jog/run, just the walk would take longer? But be more likely to be in the fat burn zone?

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SamanthaStripyPants Mon 08-Jun-20 09:48:39

Honestly I don't think so. I have been told the same thing but if you think about it, your body has to work so much harder if you are running. Possibly if you are a pro runner and your heart rate remains low but at first, I would say that running burns more over the same distance.

I see it that running is to improve fitness. Running may create a higher deficit which will lead to weight loss but walking actively burns the fat.

SamanthaStripyPants Mon 08-Jun-20 09:54:49

An example is a run I did the other day, half was run and walk when I thought my heart would explode (definitely more walk than run) and in the 1.5 miles I burnt 201 calories. The other 1.5 miles after I decided my knees couldn't take it anymore and I burnt 164. Not much in it but I think it counts.

Youngatheart00 Mon 08-Jun-20 10:02:15

It all boggles my mind a bit! I suppose so long as I’m out there, moving, it’s better than lying on the sofa (as I am currently!)

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SamanthaStripyPants Mon 08-Jun-20 10:23:49

Definitely. It's simply about burning more than consume.

Get your TDEE and BMR and adjust your intake on this figure.

bluebluezoo Mon 08-Jun-20 10:49:07

It’s an interesting point - I thought it was the distance not the speed that made the difference. Ie would burn the same calories on a 3 mile walk as I would a 3 mile jog/run, just the walk would take longer? But be more likely to be in the fat burn zone?

I agree I think grin

I found the HR monitor really interesting, as it calculates calories in terms of effort. My step counter will give me 200-300 calories for the day, if I use a fitness app and put in time and distance I’ll get 400 per hour, but the HR monitor gives me 700/hour.

Difference for me between running and walking- walking I can maintain a HR of 140-150 almost indefinitely. I come out really sweaty (As in wet clothes envy, out of breath, and my legs are slightly sore the next day. I do 2 hours if I can, i can do every day, and while doing it I can watch tv, answer emails, do the grocery order etc smile

I am not a natural runner. Yes it takes my HR up higher to 170-180, and I burn more calories, but I simply can’t maintain it. 20 mins would be my max, i need rest days.

So overall I am going to burn far more calories walking than running. If I could run for extended periods yes I would burn more, but I can’t.

Youngatheart00 Mon 08-Jun-20 12:06:29

I think where we’re getting to here is distance is important.

But perhaps walking better for weight loss and running better for fitness? In the past when I’ve been a fairly decent runner I’ve found I haven’t lost weight and in some cases even gained as my appetite increased so much.

OP’s posts: |
delilahbucket Mon 08-Jun-20 12:32:46

It is worth considering that getting your heart rate up ensures that you burn for longer after the exercise. So while there may be little difference in walking or running the same distance, you won't burn calories after the exercise has finished if you've strolled round the route.

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