Movement is what our bodies are designed to do, however most Americans don’t get enough of it. This is nothing new, it’s been the case for quite some time. It’s recommended that we walk 10,000 steps a day. This is somewhat arbitrary, however is a good average to ensure a healthier body. 10,000 steps is about 5 miles of walking.
The following is from Livestrong article “The 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge”.
“Why 10,000 Steps?
There is nothing inherently magical about the number itself; it’s more about what it represents. Namely getting out of your seat and up walking around.
Oddly enough, the 10,000 number came from a Japanese pedometer first marketed in the 1960s, according to UC Davis Integrative Medicine. The devices were called “manpo-kei,” which translates to 10,000-step meter.
But since that time, science has confirmed some benefits of walking more throughout the day. A 2000 study from the journal Hypertension Research showed that people who took 10,000 steps a day had lower blood pressure. And a 2003 study published in Preventative Medicine showed that it improved glucose tolerance.
On the other hand, a study from a 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who only walked 5,000 steps were more likely to have poor cardiometabolic health, which can heighten the risk of diabetes, heart disease or stroke.”
This May I’ve decided to challenge myself to log 10,000 steps every day. I’ve got a fitness watch that I wear to help count my steps. So far, so good!
Ways to Walk More
- Park farther away
- Walk to work a couple days a week if you live close
- Get off a stop earlier when using public transportation
- Walk to a colleague’s desk to ask a simple question instead of emailing
- Hold walking meetings
- Take the stairs, not the elevator
- Walk on your lunch breaks, take frequent short walking breaks throughout the day
- Take a phone call while walking
- Use the bathroom upstairs/downstairs at work (or down the hall)
- Use a treadmill desk (my dream!)
- Walk your dog
- Wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be more likely to walk
- Walk to destinations in your town, such as a restaurant, shop, religious center. I frequently walk downtown for a nice 30 minute walk each way.
- Walk or run an errand. I often run while doing errands (just bring a tightly fitted backpack!).
- Read and walk (or listen to podcasts or music). I get lots of comments walking along the ocean reading a book. 🙂
- Meet friends for a walk instead of coffee, or get your coffee to go
- Be engaged in your community, advocating for more sidewalks and safer streets.