How to shop your way to 10,000 steps

Finding it tough to get into your fitness stride? Cheer yourself up by hitting the shops – and get a health boost at the same time.

Another way

‘Mallercise’ has been a craze in the US for a few years, more recently trickling down to shopping centres in the UK. There are even organised mall walks to help people take steps to improve their health, with meet-up schemes at the intu Trafford Centre in Manchester and White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds.

The NHS recommends aiming for 10,000 steps per day, the equivalent of around 8km or 5 miles (depending on how leggy you are). Our latest research found that more and more of us are tracking how many steps we take each day and now almost half (49%) of UK adults are measuring them in some way. However, we discovered that only 17% of people who track their steps actually manage the full recommendation regularly – the average person only reaches 7,358 steps a day.

So if the very thought of trying to get your 10,000 steps has you diving back under the duvet, or if you just need some help reaching the target, the ‘shop and drop’ approach could be for you. (And any new purchases will only make your workout more effective. Bonus.)

infographic
intu Metrocentre, Gateshead

intu Metrocentre, Gateshead

Total ground area: 194,400 square metres
One circuit is: 3.5 miles
Equal to: 7,000 steps
Shop: You’ll pass around 300 stores and boutiques, including Debenhams, L’Occitane, Pandora and Hotel Chocolat.
Stop: The Metrocentre has its own family entertainment centre, Namco Funscape, with bowling lanes and arcade games.
Drop: There is a Five Guys, if you don’t mind undoing all that hard work. Or grab a coffee at cute Cookery Nook.
Random fact: Europe’s biggest shopping centre has its own police station, dentist and full-time chaplain.

The Style Mile, Glasgow 

Return distance: (from Argyle Street to Sauchiehall Street via Buchanan Street and back again) 3 miles
Equal to: 6,000 steps
Shop: Pop into Argyll Arcade, lined with dazzling jewellery stores.
Stop: Listen to street musicians from jazz cats to kilted bagpipe players.
Drop: Grab a wee dram in Sloans, tucked in Argyll Arcade.
Random fact: The annual Style Mile Carnival attracts the crowds each year in May when they flock to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Oh, and it’s actually longer than a mile...

 

intu Trafford Centre, Manchester

Size: 185,000 square metres
One circuit is: 3 miles
Equal to: 6,000 steps
Shop: From Accessorize to Zara, and (almost) everything in between you’ll find over 200 shops in the Trafford Centre.
Stop: There’s a cinema, or burn off more calories running around Laser Quest or playing a round of crazy golf.
Drop: Rest on one of the centre’s many benches and admire the baroque-style architecture, with fountains, columns and sculptures.
Random fact: Research by the centre showed shoppers actually walk an average of 7 miles per visit – the equivalent to 14,760 steps. Which shows how popping into a few shops, rather than just striding from one end to the other, can boost your fitness – if not your bank balance.

Liverpool ONE

One circuit is: 2.8 miles 
Equal to: 5,600 steps Shop: Anchored by Debenhams and John Lewis, this open-air shopping complex is dotted with over 170 boutiques, bars and restaurants. It also boasts the only Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Bazaar in the UK.
Stop: The complex borders five acres of landscaped gardens. More walking, anyone?
Drop: Chill with a sweet, icy drink at Mooboo Bubble Tea on Paradise Street.
Random fact: The shopping area has 51 passenger lifts and 25 escalators. But you should walk, obviously.

Princes Street

Princes Street, Edinburgh

Return distance: 2.8 miles return journey
Equal to: 5,600 steps
Shop: Purchase the local tipple at The Whisky Shop and browse luxe jewellery at Fraser Hart.
Stop: Check out the world’s first floral clock, planted in 1903.
Drop: On a nice day, plonk yourself down in Princes Street Gardens for a well-deserved rest.
Random fact: Apart from on New Year’s Eve, the hotel, The Balmoral’s clock is three minutes fast – deliberately. The hotel has wound its clocks this way since 1902 to help residents catch their trains on time.

Oxford Street, London 

Return distance: 2.6 miles
Equal to: 5,200 steps
Shop: At 8,400 metres square and with five floors, navigating Topshop’s flagship store is a workout in itself.
Stop: Have a breather and see some incredible work at The Photographers’ Gallery, tucked on quiet Ramillies Street.
Drop: Reward yourself with a glass of fizz at Selfridges’ Champagne & Oyster Bar.
Random fact: It once connected Newgate Prison with the hallows at Tyburn, with the condemned taken down the street to be hung from the Tyburn tree at Marble Arch.

woman shopping

Westfield Stratford City

Total ground area: 150,000 square metres
One circuit is: 2.5 miles
Equal to: 5,000 stepsShop: Beauty Base is a cosmetic lover’s dream.
Stop: Try a spot of retro bowling at All Star Lanes.
Drop: Caffe Concerto is an elegant spot for a coffee. Whether you browse the pastries and cakes is up to you.
Random fact: The floor tiles convert footsteps into electricity, so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too.

Bluewater, Kent 

Total ground area: 155, 700 square metres
One circuit is: 2 miles
Equal to: 4,000 steps
Shop: This is paradise for label lovers, with over 300 shops which include Karen Millen, Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors among the names.
Stop: Have a play on the video games and simulators in the Sega Active Zone.
Drop: After all that vertical action, recline in the Elemis Spa Pod at John Lewis.
Random fact: Bluewater is surrounded by 50 acres of lakes and parkland so, if it’s nice out, your steps could go through the roof.

High Street, Oxford

Return distance: 1 mile return journey
Equal to: 2,000 steps
Shop: Break your stride by browsing cute shops like Antiques On High and The Oxford Gallery.
Stop: Duck into the 18th century Covered Market, with hat boutiques nestled among fruit and veg stalls and a butchers.
Drop: Grab a light bite at the Old Kitchen Bar in Magdalen College, dating from the 1300s.
Random fact: Frank Cooper, of the famous jams which made Oxford Marmalade famous, had his first shop at 83-83 High Street.

White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds 

Total ground area: 65,032 square metres
One circuit is: 1 mile Equal to: 2,000 steps
Shop: Amongst the 120 shops you can find edgy brands such as Superdry as well as the high-street faves H&M, Next and Oasis. 
Stop: Grab a smoothie on the go from JUICE.
Drop: Rest your weary tootsies at posh cafe Patisserie Valerie.
Random fact: You can join an organised mall walk 9-10am, when the centre is closed.

Whilst you’re shopping your way to a healthier 2017, it’s good to know that your new fitness regime could impact your life insurance premiums for the better.

So if you’re interested in getting cover, why not see if you can find the right cover at the right price for you right here today? 

Steps calculations based on 10,000 steps being equivalent to 5 miles. One step = 0.0005 miles, so xx miles/0.0005 = xx steps: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweight/pages/10000stepschallenge.aspx

Research carried out by One Poll questioning 1,000 adults aged 18+ in January 2017.

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