For anyone who is trying to get in shape by walking it is recommended that you make it a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day. While this sounds like a large amount, if you break it down into smaller chunks, it really isn’t.
Using a pedometer to count your steps can be really motivating. The good part is no-one even has to know that you are wearing it if you don’t want them to! Quite often even a little motivation can produce huge results. If you are lacking in this area why not invest in one today?
Why do doctors recommend walking 10,000 steps per day?
The American Heart Association actually suggests this as the optimum number to help decrease your risks associated with heart attacks. Walking 10,000 steps is approximately the same as walking 5 miles. Most people do not walk anywhere near this number at all. If you have a sedentary job you may be lucky to walk 2 or 3 miles each day.
The benefits of walking 10,000 steps per day include:
- Keeps you mobile and active
- Increasing your energy levels
- Lowering your cholesterol levels
- Lowering your BMI
- Decreasing your waist size
- Reducing your risk for diabetes
Let’s look at how to get 10,000 steps a day. Remember to clip on your pedometer as soon as you get out of bed and wear it until you go to bed at night.
Be aware of the fact that you need to get in 10,000 steps, this way you will be more determined to reach your goal. If you haven’t exercised in a long time work up to this number gradually. A good goal for beginners would be 5,000.
Make an effort to get up at least once an hour during the day and walk around. Park a little further back in the parking lot at work so you can get in more steps walking into work. If you take the bus, catch an earlier one and get off one stop early.
If possible take the stairs to your office and not the elevator. Walk during your lunch break, even if it is just for 10 minutes because every little bit helps.
When you are at home, walk up and down your stairs a few extra times. Make it a point to walk to your mail box, instead of stopping on your way home in the car. I push myself to do this every day so Kev doesn’t have to stop and get the mail.
If you have a dog, offer to be the dog walker. Or offer to help a neighbor walk their dog. Get up and walk in place during TV commercials. This is something I really need to work on. I love my shows but rarely get up. That will be one of my new goals.
It is not that you have to go out and spend an hour walking because believe me not everyone has that much time to spare. But, if you consciously make an effort to move more often during the day, you will be surprised at how those steps add up.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t reach 10,000 steps right away, any extra movement is going to be beneficial. What counts is that you make every effort to slowly increase the number of steps you walk each day.
Do you have a pedometer? How many steps do you get a day?