Guest Author - Carla Cano
Most people today are in sedentary jobs. Our society has changed over the years and individuals are simply not as active as they were in the past. In past times, a woman would get up and start cooking and preparing for the day before anyone else in their homes were even awake. A man would be going to a factory job or out to his farm to care for crops and/or animals instead of sitting behind a desk. Often young children would have to get up and do chores before daybreak before walking to school. Those days are long gone.
Getting in enough activity to stay or get healthy takes time and commitment. It can take planing and dedication. A great place to start is using a pedometer to determine how many steps you are currently taking each and every day. Wear a pedometer for the first two weeks and do not change a thing about your routine. This will give you a baseline for the currently number of steps you walk daily. Every morning put your pedometer on don't take it off until you are ready for bed at the end of the day. Log the number of steps you have taken during the day into a journal or spreadsheet. If you log your steps ever day you will be able to accurately plan what changes need to be made to get in more steps each day.
The average sedentary person accumulates roughly around 3000 steps daily doing everyday activities. Depending on your goals you should strive for 10,000 to 15,000 steps each and every day. 10,000 steps is roughly the equivalent to five miles. Starting at 3000 or fewer steps a day and striving for 10,000 or more steps a day can seem overwhelming, but it really is about just adding a few more steps gradually each week. It is recommended to add 500 steps to your daily total each week until you meet your goal. A healthy goal for maintaining your current weight is around 10,000, however if you want to lose weight it is recommended to strive for between 12,000 to 15,000 steps each day. Preparation will make it much easier to do than it seems.
5 ways to add more steps to your daily routine
1. Park at the farthest point in a parking lot. If you do this with every errand it can rack up hundreds of steps with each errand you run.
2. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to add steps to your daily total. It is also a great way to get your heart pumping. Climbing stairs strengthen your leg, back, heart and lung muscles.
3. Take the longest route to your destination. If there are multiple routes to a colleague's office, take the longest route to have a chat with him. Instead of using the phone or email for office communication visit the recipient in person. If you need to go to the mall, in addition to parking at the farthest spot in the parking lot, choose the entrance farthest from the store you need to visit.
4. Walk to do nearby errands. Walking to the store or to pick up your dry cleaning can give you a break from traffic and it's great for both the environment and your health. Even if you park a short distance away and walk to accomplish your errands it will boost your daily steps to achieve your goals.
5. Take a daily walk to increase your steps. A morning or evening walk can refresh your mind and get you closer to your walking goals. It is a great way to prepare for your day and to wind down from your day. You can spend time with your pooch or a loved one and enjoy the outdoors while achieving your health goals at the same time.
Counting your steps is a great way to determine where your fitness level is and where it needs to go. Using a pedometer can help motivate you to meet your goals on a daily basis. It is a great motivational tool to be in competition with yourself to do more each day. By keeping track of your daily total steps you can see your progress in a real, measurable way. This is a great way to begin a walking program. Increasing your steps over time will help you get into the routine of thinking about your health goals and the benefits of walking to those goals.
If you would like to discuss ways to achieve 10,000 steps or pedometers stop by the forum and say hi. We all could use more tips on ways to achieve our step goal or personal recommendations of worthwhile pedometers.