My health coach and nurse practitioner, Deb Stein from Essentia Health in Brainerd, advised that I walk 10,000 steps a day.
That is WAY harder than you think! Especially if your day is spent on your butt in front of a computer. BUT, it is do-able. The first thing I do every day is mall walk at the Westgate Mall. I know that, if I utilize every nook and cranny of that place, I can get in about 5,000 steps in around an hour (it’s about 980-ish steps per one full trip around the mall concourse).
Setting aside some time to go for a 45 minute walk isn’t always easy much less finding another hour to get in those 5,000 additional steps.
We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?
There is and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local super store or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit for example. But before you head out to spend any money, check your smart phone. Many models have a pedometer built in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.
Thepedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45 minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.
Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.
Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after dinner stroll.
NOTE: I use the iPhone app Pacer to track and log my steps. There’s a bunch of apps that can be used but honestly, I think a FitBitis something I need to look into.