Megan Johnson McCullough — The ever famous “10,000 steps per day” is what we hear and what we know. With this number in mind, that means sedentary people who are considered inactive take about 5,000 steps per day. Somewhat active people take between 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day. People who take over 10,000 steps per day are considered active people. The origin of the 10,000-step rule actually came from Japan in the 1960s when pedometers were sold called “manpo-kei”, which means “10,000 steps meter”. The concept became popular and caught on. People who achieved 10,000 steps per day started to reap the health benefits such as lowering their blood pressure and reducing blood sugar levels. However, it is important to note that the official recommendation comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which advises that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. When it comes to brisk walking, this could equate to 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day. Realistically, if a person normally walks 5,000 steps per day then they need to make the added effort to get about 3,000 more to reach this level. Pedometers and fitness monitors are a great way to track progress and be accountable for set goals. To lose weight, a person needs to incorporate a diet that is conducive to creating a calorie deficit based upon the amount of calories burned via walking. What goes in the mouth doesn’t automatically walk its way off the waistline. Walking is the first step to getting active, it is free, and it can be done anywhere, anytime.
The following are some tips to get those steps in, even without going above and beyond what you normally do during your day.
- Every heard of a treadmill desk?? Walking and working is a fabulous solution and a company that endorses this and permits this is one you certainly want to work for.
- Don’t try to be Hercules. Make the extra trip to the car to grab the groceries instead of trying to save a trip and loading up each arm way too much.
- Park further away. Yes, you have heard this but getting the closest parking spot when you go to the gym sort of seems odd. As long as you are in a safe location, go for the distance.
- Take the stairs. Another, you’ve heard before. Truth be told it adds up and tones up the legs.
- Take a break from sitting. Go walk. Enjoy the fresh air. Vitamin D. At home, at work, while watching your kids at their practices, get up and move.
- Walk in place while you talk or read. Catching up with your girlfriend can mean catching up on steps too. The i-pad appreciates movement too so walk and Netflix it. Then you won’t feel so guilty about the binge.
- Walk to your destination. If the pharmacy is around the block, then get to those feet and walk there. Your boots were made for walking.
- When you are waiting in line or for anything, go walk or walk in place. No one passes judgement when you are trying to be healthy. If the appointment you are at says the wait will be ten minutes, rather than sitting there for 10 minutes, go walk. Just let them know they can call.
- Make the choice not to sit until you have reached 10,000 steps. That means you do it first thing. Accomplish your 10,000 then the rest of your days is extra bonus.
- Become a neat freak. Vacuum and sweep on a regular. Make the effort to walk up the stairs to tidy up the house, rather than making a pile at the bottom for the next time you have to walk up there. Go every time and put things in their place.
Every step counts towards your health. Be a sneaker collector and wear them out. Your heart, body, and overall wellness will thank you.