WHY 10000 STEPS A DAY?
Why should anyone take 10,000 steps a day, you ask? Good question, with 10,000 even better reasons to get started. Every step you take, brings you closer to better health and a happier you. Getting active helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It improves cardiovascular functioning and also sleep habits. As well, it helps to reduce the risk of diabetes and aids in weight reduction.
Best of all though, it has been shown to be beneficial in raising your psychological state of mind. All of that, by just putting one foot in front of the other. Nothing like a little stroll, to put a big smile on your face.
Wonderful, you might think, but why 10,000 steps? While it is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, a high percentage of Americans fall far short of that. Sedentary jobs and readily available cars further reduce the number of steps we take. Somehow we speed up our lives, but then cannot find the time for ourselves within the day.
And while many might feel that they don’t have time for 10,000 steps, they would be wrong. The increasing prevalence of obesity makes it apparent that something needs to be done. The simple act of taking 10,000 steps a day is equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise and can even help you to lose 5 pounds over the course of a year. That is a pretty good reason for 10,000 steps.
So while 10,000 steps a day might sound like a lot of walking, in reality it is only around 5 miles a day. If that sounds even more daunting, don’t worry. Many of the regular activities that you already do over the course of a day amounts to about 4000-6000 steps. That includes getting out of bed, walking down the stairs, putting out the garbage, and vacuuming the living room. Nothing glamorous there, but all those steps count. If you don’t believe it, then that’s where a pedometer comes in.
USING A PEDOMETER TO HELP TRACK YOUR STEPS
A pedometer is a device that measures the number of steps you take. You attach it to your belt or waist band, and it counts your steps according to the rise and fall of your hips. Also called a step counter, they come in various forms with a variety of other functions available. Aside from measuring your steps, you can also get a pedometer that will measure the total distance covered, your calories burned, estimated speed, and other functions such as a timer, clock and stopwatch.
In our high-tech world, you even have step counters with GPS units and the ability to chart and graph your progress. And don’t forget the simple reset button, so that you can start fresh again tomorrow with another 10,000 steps!
HOW TO GET MORE STEPS IN YOUR DAY
So with your new resolve to be a happier and healthier you, how do you start? When you roll out of bed, clip on your pedometer and start counting. It is important to know how many steps you already take on average, and then you can go from there.
Before starting any new exercise regime, it is always important to talk to your physician. From there, start slow and add steps gradually. As many have ruefully discovered, if you push yourself too far too fast, you put yourself at higher risk to burn out and quickly lose interest. Little additions, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a little further away from the store in the parking lot, are a good start and can begin to add up. As your step counter clicks away, think about adding in a walk after dinner, walking your kids to school, or even wandering over to your co-workers desk instead of sending them an email.
Try including others in your goal of 10,000 steps a day, and you will have the benefit of a walking coffee date with friends, the company of your dog for a little longer, and the bonding experiences that are so necessary with your children and spouse. Take the time to make you a priority and schedule in your 10,000 steps. If you set aside 10 minutes here or 20 minutes there, you will find that they add up and your pedometer will be clicking off the steps faster and easier. Before you know it, even the simple task of doing a little gardening will be pushing you to a healthier and more active you.
How can you afford not to?
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