three asian teenage girs sitting on a curb and looking at their phones

​​​​Studies have shown the health benefits of clocking 10,000 steps daily. However, if walking around the track is not your idea of a fun physical activity, fear not! There is a myriad of physical activities that contribute to your step count without you even realising it. From playing Kinect for Xbox games to the latest Pokemon Go!, the trick is to inject fun to your daily physical activities. Choose your preferred motivation to make exercise more meaningful and fun!

Related: Gorgeous Destinations in 10,000 Steps

Why 10,000 Steps a Day?

close up of a jogger's feet taking a walk

An average person takes 5,900 steps a day, and individuals who take fewer than 5,000 steps a day are considered to be leading a sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged sedentary behavior, such as sitting for more than six hours a day, can lead to a higher risk of metabolic disease. For most of us who work in a corporate and office environment — what can we do?

The good news is that you can walk off the health scares resulting from leading a sedentary life. Walking can reduce your risk of depression, as well as lower your risks of contracting chronic illnesses such as stroke, hypertensionand even cancer. Find out more about improving your health by taking 10,000 steps.

Related: The Surprising Health Benefits of 10,000 Steps

Gaming for Goals

group of people huddled together playing mobile games 

Don’t brush off games as mere playthings, as they can actually help you achieve your fitness goals.

Combining games with fitness is a good idea because they:

  • Provide engagement
    Did you join the recent Pokemon GO! craze? Then you know how addictive games can be. Now imagine turning that focus into a goal such as your fitness and you can understand why fitness games are the new way to get healthy.
  • Give immediate feedback on progress
    Unless you have a personal trainer, it is hard to get accurate feedback on your progress. Fitness apps and games are designed to track your progress, store your personalised data and show how well you compare to others. With these statistics at your fingertips, you’ll know clearly where and how to improve.
  • Provide rewards and motivation towards fitness goals
    Fitness games make it rewarding when you hit a certain goal or target, whether it is running an extra kilometre or shedding a kilogram off your weight. The thrill of hitting a target, sharing it on your social media platforms and seeing your progress, gives you extra motivation to continue achieving your fitness goals.
  • Leverage on community support
    You never have to walk alone as fitness apps are able to connect you with like-minded health enthusiasts from around the world. Get cheers from friends and share fitness tips. Sometimes we all need an extra push from others and fitness apps are able to provide just that.

Related: Burn Calories While Watching TV

Game to Go?

asian man stops in the middle of a crowd to play a game on his phone

Raring to go? Try these fitness-enabling games!

Kinect for Xbox

What
Kinect is a motion sensor add-on for Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console. Using face, gesture and voice recognition, the camera tracks you in real-time so games are three-dimensional. Imagine jumping, dodging or even dancing through various scenarios such as a tennis match, golf tournament or on a dance floor.

Why
For time-strapped individuals without any access to fitness facilities, Kinect lets you work out in the comfort of your own home!

Recommended Games

  • Shape Up claims to ‘transform your exercise into one surprising epic quest’, where you can challenge and beat your friends, as well as turn boring workouts into an experience that is simple, fun and effective.
  • Zumba Fitness Rush, based on the popular workout craze, lets you work on your dance moves to the beat of infectious music. It is known to be highly energising and great for burning calories.
  • Kinect Sports features sports such as bowling, volleyball and track & field, which you can participate in with your whole family — without leaving the comforts of home.

Related: Gamify Your Exercise with Virtual Reality

Pokémon GO

close up of the game pokemon GO being played outdoors 

What
Gotta catch em all! Launched in Singapore on August 6, 2016, Pokémon GO is drawing throngs of new and old Pokemon fans. The game uses location-based augmented reality in which players have to locate and capture virtual creatures in their surroundings.

Why
The intense exploration of sites to find Pokémon creatures has led players to go the extra mile. The game encourages you to walk significant distances to collect trophies in a fun and engaging manner. All that walking has brought along unexpected but tangible fitness benefits. Several people have even claimed that the game is secretly the best exercise app out there’, with Vox Technology reporting it as an ‘exercise app that actually works’.

With all that moving, the game has definitely inspired legions of gamers to get off the couch and out walking, running and jumping. The app even lets you track your runs, count your steps and time bike runs as a fitness measure. At this rate, clocking in your 10,000 daily steps will be child’s play!

Extra Tips
However, the game has also been known to cause several accidents and become a public nuisance due to the overcrowding of Pokémon players, even encroaching on private property. To keep players safe, the start screen of the game warns players to be mindful of their environment, traffic and to stay clear of private property.

Zombies, Run!

What
Zombies, Run! became the highest-grossing Health & Fitness app on Apple’s App store within just two weeks of its initial release. Boasting equal parts action and adventure, the fitness app combines the thrills of a zombie game with a running programme.

Why
As the main hero during a zombie attack, you have to run for dear life while collecting supplies and solving an apocalypse mystery on the side. Whatever your skill level, the game is designed to increase your speed and intensity throughout various points in the game. And at the end of each episode, you get to share your survival success on your social media platforms. If you need more motivation to run, this game may just provide the much-needed kick!

However you choose to do it, chalking up 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can be a fun activity for all in the family.


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References

  1. Belluz, J. (2016, Jul 14). Pokémon Go wants to be the exercise app that actually works [Vox Technology].
    Retrieved August 2016 from http://www.vox.com/2016/7/12/12159198/pokemon-go-exercise-increase

  2. Brody, B. (2015, Dec 21). Should you be aiming for 10,000 steps a day?. CNN.
    Retrieved August 2016 from http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/21/health/ten-thousand-steps-better-health/

  3. Schwartz, T. (2016, Jul 8). Pokémon Go is secretly the best exercise app out there [IGN].
    Retrieved August 2016 from http://au.ign.com/articles/2016/07/09/pokemon-go-is-secretly-the-best-exercise-app-out-there

  4. Peckham, M. (2016, Jul 13). Meet the Mastermind Behind This Summer’s Pokémon Craze. TIME.
    Retrieved August 2016 from http://time.com/4404282/pokemon-go-john-hanke/

  5. Rettner, R. (2014, Mar 7). The Truth About '10,000 Steps' a Day [LiveScience].
    Retrieved August 2016 from http://www.livescience.com/43956-walking-10000-steps-healthy.html