Last autumn, a friend of mine who (shall we say . . . ) was “a little overweight” told me he’d decided to do something about it. His timing wasn’t perfect as we were enjoying a meal of chicken tikka masala, onion bhajis, poppadoms and garlic naans. It was the weirdest Italian restaurant I’ve ever eaten in.
Rather than take out a gym membership or sign-up for the London Marathon he was going to follow the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of walking 10,000 steps a day.
Last week, I saw him strolling along Fabian Way, Swansea and it was obvious he’d put on weight rather than lost any, so I decided to attract his attention in my usual subtle, diplomatic manner.
“Oi! Chubster!” I shouted – and, fair dos, his head spun around in my direction.
I couldn’t shake his right hand as it was gripped around a half-eaten Greggs pastie – and my right hand contained a half-eaten Greggs sausage roll.
I said, “I thought you were going to walk 10,000 steps a day?” as l brushed little flakes of pastry from my chin.
He explained “I intended to. But I couldn’t find one building in this city with 10,000 steps to walk up and down.” Which sort of made sense…
I did some research into this ‘10,000 steps a day’ idea to see if it was another number randomly picked out of the air like the ‘Five pieces of fruit a day’ advice of a few years back.
It started in 1964 when the Kyushu University Of Health And Welfare in Japan discovered that by walking 10,000 steps a day, a person could walk off 20% of their daily calorie intake.
So…if we took 50,000 steps a day we could walk off 100%of our daily calorie intake.
Trouble is, if we walked 50,000 steps every day, at the end of the first week we’d end up in Hereford.
I wonder if there’s a Greggs there?