Your alarm goes off way to early; roll out of bed and begin getting ready for the day ahead.
After a quick shower, you dress and rush out the door maybe stopping at the drive-thru window to grab a breakfast to go.
Your day seems to be one of non-stop activity, stress and responsibility. When you finally walk back in the door at the end of the day you collapse on the sofa to zone out in front of your favorite evening program.
But just how much real physical activity did you get in today?
If you were to clip on a pedometer and track the actual steps you took throughout the day, chances are unless you are at a job requiring you to be on your feet all day; you would average about 3,000 steps. That is less than half of the recommended 10,000 steps per day.
A pedometer is an easy way to see just how much movement you actually get in during your day. Clip it on first thing in the morning and then go about your day. Try not to peek at it! The first three days or so you want to just follow your normal routine. At the end of the day, record the number. Three days later total those three days together and divide by three to find your average number of steps.
Does the number surprise you?
If you have seen the Dr Oz show, you know he highly recommends 10,000 steps per day for everyone. You can start at any time regardless of your present fitness level. Once you know your average number of steps, set a goal to increase it each day until you reach 10,000 a day at least five days a week.
Regular exercise has well documented health benefits including stress reduction, reducing your risk of many major diseases including heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Let’s not forget about the benefit of weight loss or weight management that comes with regular consistent exercise.
For a nation of couch potatoes, exercise is an intimidating topic and even harder to force ourselves into doing on a consistent basis. Talk to most people about beginning an exercise program and excuses of time, expense, lack of gym access or skill are sure to arise.
Walking offers a quick, easy exercise option that most everyone can take part in with little more than a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
If you are beginning a new walking routine start slowly with whatever you are able to do. The recommended goal is to aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The good news is you don’t have to do those 30 minutes all at once. A five minute walk to the end of the drive and back in may be all you can handle today. That’s great! Five minutes of movement beats five minutes of inactivity any day.
Get Creative – See how many intentional steps you can take throughout the day. Remember, every step counts and can be counted on an inexpensive pedometer to keep you motivated. Make it a goal to increase your steps each day until you reach 10,000.
Challenge co-workers to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk during your lunch break. Fall has arrived and offers the perfect time to get outdoors for a walk. Cooler temperatures and the changing fall foliage offer a great excuse to stroll and take in the sights around your neighborhood or local parks.
October is National Walking Month. Now is the time to go ahead and get a jump on that New Year’s resolution to start exercising. You can do it literally one step at a time.
10,000 Steps a Day. The Walking Site. ( n.d.) Online, retrieved at http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html
The Dr Oz Show. Online, retrieved at http://www.doctoroz.com