You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking and that the Surgeon General recommends adults walk at least 10k steps a day (2,000 steps covers roughly one mile). However, most of us are only walking between 4,000 and 6,000 steps per day! Do you want to increase your activity level? Reaching 10k steps a day can decrease your risk for disease, help you maintain or lose weight, and maintain your fitness.
We have some easy and fun ways to get more movement during your average day.
- Start your morning off with short walk.
- Do you commute to work? Get off the bus or train a few stops early.
- If you live within a mile or two of your job, consider walking there instead!
- Take the stairs. When possible skip the elevator or escalator and opt for the stairs.
- Take a mid-afternoon walk. Go see your coworker in person rather than calling her. Extra points if you take the stairs to see them.
- Walk and talk. Do you need to make some phone calls? Take a walk and make your calls then. If you can’t leave the office, pace back and forth while talking.
- Take a walking meeting. Rather than sitting in a meeting, get a like-minded coworker to meet while walking around.
- Run local errands on foot. Instead of taking the car to the post office or to pick up dinner, save yourself the gas and walk there.
- Going shopping? Park your car on the opposite end of the lot for some extra steps. Once inside the store, do a complete lap of it before you pick up the items you need.
- Play with your kids. Create family activity time and play tag in the yard, have a dance contest, or go for a walk together.
- Walk while the kids have sports or dance practice, rather than sitting and waiting for them.
Do you want a specific plan to increase your steps? Here are some examples of what to do in order to add around 6,000 extra steps per day.
Start your day with a 5-minute walk; it’s a great way to clear your mind. (Total: 500 steps)
Need to catch up with a co-worker? Take a 10-minute walk to get up to speed on the day’s events. Or take a walk with your neighbor and catch up on neighborhood happenings. (Total: 1,000 steps)
Take stroll after lunch. A 15-minute walk at a brisk pace can help you digest your meal, shake off your day, and get 1,700 steps in. (Total: 1,700 steps)
Instead of letting your dog out, take them for a 20-minute walk. You’ll both benefit from the exercise and some fresh air. Warm up with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps), walk briskly or as if you’re late for an appointment for 10-minutes (1,350 steps) and then cool down with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps). (Total: 2,350 steps)
Doing all of these activities will give you a total of 6,050 extra steps per day! Start slowly and build up until you reach your goals.
A pedometer such as a Fitbit can help you properly monitor the amount of steps you’re taking and help keep you on track. Be sure to wear shoes that fit properly to keep your feet and legs healthy. Always warm up before a brisk walk with a few minutes of easy walking and finish up with a few gentle stretches to keep yourself free from strain and injuries. Give us a call if something is hurting and doesn’t ease with a few days rest!