Do you need to take more steps? Even if you do a regular workout at the gym, your activity level during throughout the day still counts. Recent studies show that too much sitting and not enough stepping increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, irrespective of how active you are at the gym. If you’re not doing it already, maybe it’s time to start counting steps.
Take More Steps by Putting on a Pedometer
A pedometer is a device you attach to your body that counts the number of steps you take during the day. There’s something very motivating about wearing one, and it gives you another good reason to be more active. When you strap on a pedometer, you constantly look for ways to take more steps – just to see the numbers on the pedometer go up.
How many steps should you take to get the health benefits of staying active? The experts recommend at least 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of about 5 miles. Sound like a lot? When you extend it over a day’s time, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
The average person, who isn’t making a conscious effort to be more active, takes around 5,000 steps a day just doing their daily activities – so try to double this. To fall into the “highly active” category, you’ll need to take 12,500 steps-a-day or more.
How to Take More Steps
Even if you work an office job all day, there are still ways to be more active. Organize an office challenge, and encourage your co-workers to take more steps too. To do this, ask each participant to wear a pedometer for two months. Keep a daily record of the number of steps each person takes. The person who takes the most steps over a two month period wins a prize. Challenges like this add extra motivation for you and everyone else to stay active.
Look for excuses to walk more. Walk during your lunch area, and take a brisk stroll to the post office or bank instead of driving. Pace the floor when you’re talking on the phone. Walk the dog twice a day. Park far away and take the stairs more often. Let that inexpensive pedometer be a constant reminder to keep moving. It works.
NY Times online. “Behavior: Too Much Sitting Shortens Lives, Study Suggests”.
Realage.com. “Be a Super Stepper”.