It now appears that an apple needs to be accompanied by 10000 steps a day to keep the doctor away ;-). Many studies are continuing to confirm what many experts already knew: walking is good for you. And while 10,000 steps a day may seem like a lot of walking (approximately 5 miles a day for the average stride), there are plenty of ways to weave these steps into your daily routine. Many phones can track your daily steps; a pedometer can be clipped to your belt during the day and keep the count for you; or try a FitBit! From those first groggy steps in the morning to the last crawl into bed each evening…every step counts.
Before we go into the tips of how you can get to 10,000 steps a day, let’s take a closer look at why walking is worth every step. These are just a few of the many health benefits that walking 30 minutes a day can do for you:
- Burns calories and therefore fat
- Reduces levels of LDL Cholesterol
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- On average, fitness walkers live 3 years longer than those that don’t
- Walking can be done almost anytime & anywhere
- Less impact to the joints than running
So what’s magical about 10,000 steps a day? This concept came about over 40 years ago from a Doctor in Japan, claiming that those that walked ten thousand steps a day were living longer, happier and healthier lives than those that don’t. This concept gained some recent momentum when the US Surgeon General started promoting the 30-minutes of exercise per day and the 10,000 steps a day concept.
Ten thousand steps a day may sound like an awful lot, but our days are long and there are plenty of opportunities to fit in all those steps. Let’s take a look at some ideas of how to squeeze in some more steps into routine parts of the day so that you can reach 10000 steps a day. The numbers below assume an average stride of 30” or 2.5 feet (5,280 feet = 1 mile):
- Park in the far spaces at stores & work (500’ each way) – 400 steps
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator (3rd flights) – 100 steps
- Take a brisk 30-minute walk with the dog, kids, or just yourself – 2500 steps
- Go the water fountain on the other side of the building – 200 steps
- Vacuum for 10 minutes – 500 steps
- Cut the lawn for 60 minutes – 3000 steps
- Walk around the park or ball fields during kid’s practices – 3000 steps
- Walk to people’s offices to discuss work instead of e-mail or phone – 500 steps
- Walk in place during 15-20 minutes of TV commercials – 1000 steps
- Walk during 30-minute lunch break – 1500 steps These are just a few ideas on how you can get up to 10000 steps a day. Depending on your pace and daily routine, there are probably many more opportunities to take advantage of. Look at your day and figure out ways to fit in a few steps here and a few steps there. It’s not leaps that help us meet our fitness goals…it’s steps. And at 10,000 steps a day, your fitness goals will soon be well within reach!
FitBits are a great way to measure your
10000 steps a day!