Make Walking More Fun With a 10,000 Steps Photo Treasure Hunt

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Helen Foster
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Looking for something fun and active to do today – why not try a 10,000 Steps Treasure Hunt. You can do it anywhere – you can do it solo or with your family and all you need to carry it out is a pair of good walking shoes and your phone camera. Here’s the deal…


How to Do a 10,000 Steps Treasure Hunt

The idea of a photographic treasure hunt is simple, in the course of walking 10,000 steps you also have to collect pictures of as many of the following things as possible…

  1. A flower, tree or shrub that catches your eye
  2. Something that makes you feel happy
  3. A dog having the best day ever (that’s pretty much every day) or a mildly happy cat (if you can find one)
  4. Something orange
  5. A face where you weren’t expecting to see one (I love finding these)
  6. Something surprising
  7. A picture involving water
  8. Something shaped like a heart.

Or, you can make your own list – all you need is five to ten different sights you can look out for while you walk – and, then aim to get them all within 10,000 steps.

You can use your phone app, fitness tracker, Apple watch or a clip-on pedometer to measure these – the game stops when you reach 10,000 steps.

Why 10,000 Steps?

Okay, I admit, there is no real science to 10,000 steps – in fact, it was just conjured up as a number by a Japanese pedometer company to encourage people counting their steps – but, it’s a nice number to remember and will see you walking for about 90 minutes (maybe two hours depending on how fast you walk) which is a pretty good way to spend an active day.

If you’re not normally a big walker, trying to do 10,000 steps in one go might be too many so, instead, set yourself a time limit as to how long you’re going to walk for and try and see what you can cross off your list.

If you don’t reach all of them, then keep the list going for your next walk.

Don’t think that doesn’t count – in one study looking into how many steps actually benefit our health it was found that any number counts. Women who did 4400 steps a day lived longer than those who did just 2700, while those who did 7500 lived the longest – there wasn’t a huge difference after 7500 (although it certainly wasn’t harmful either). So, the fact is, any steps count.

This is supposed to be a fun challenge, so do whatever it takes it to make it fun and enjoyable for you – that’s how you keep moving and make exercise a habit.

How I Did

I had a brilliant time doing all of this – and racked up 10,013 steps. My walk consisted of some back streets and a very busy main road – and then a park.

I like taking photographs, even though I’m not very good at it but it’s only normally something I do when I’m on holiday so it was great to think about doing it at home as well.

I also find it puts me in a better mood. I pootled around the park thinking ‘hello tree, aren’t you pretty?’ ‘Hello pink flower don’t you like bright against all the green stuff around you’, ‘oooh, look at the doggy.’

So what did I take pics of…here’s the eight images.

So, do you want to try it? Here are the rules…

You have to get pictures of as many of the above as possible in the time it takes you to walk 10,000 steps (or however long you decide to walk for).

You can do it in one long walking session like I did, or throughout the day or week.

You can also walk them, run them, you can hop if you like, so long as you do the 10,000 steps or total amount of time.

If you complete your challenge in 1,000 steps, you’re going to have boring 9,000 steps to complete. Feel free to add your own categories should you go out in a blaze of photographic glory within about 10 minutes.

If you play along, post your picture on Instagram tagging me in @bemoreunicorn and with the hashtag #10000stepstreasurehunt. We might even make it a ‘thing’.

If lots of people join in, I might even award a prize for my favourite pic!

What to Read Next

If you liked this idea, you might also want to check out the idea of gratitude walking as well. While the Treasure Hunt is designed to keep you moving, this is designed to help you feel good about life – and, it uses techniques specifically proven to boost your mood. Check it out here. 

Or, go on a Colour Walk – pick the right shade and you could reduce stress, improve your mood or even start to feel more creative. Find out how to do a colour walk here. 

You’ll also find a heap of other suggestions in our piece on 23 Ways to Make Walking Less Boring.


Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.

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