How many steps do you walk each day?
One of our clients has begun his effort to partake in a corporate wide 10,000 steps per day health program. Earlier this week I asked him how many steps he usually takes per day. He replied, "Well unless I make an extra effort to walk after work, I usually reach close to 4,000. " The good news is that he's making the extra effort and as the ancient Chinese proverb suggests, "the journey of 10,000 miles begins with one step."
So how far is 10,000 steps anyway?
The average person's stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.
A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. For these people adding steps has many health benefits.
How can you get started?
A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Example: If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3,500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4,000 each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks.
Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps each day. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.
Creative Ideas to Reach 10,000 steps
- Take a walk with your spouse, child, or friend
- Hike a local trail - click your town for details Tolland, Vernon, Ellington/Somers, Manchester, or West Hartford
- Walk the dog
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park farther from the store
- Better yet, walk to the store
- Get up to change the channel
- Window shop
- Plan a walking meeting
- Walk over to visit a neighbor
- Get outside to walk around the garden or do a little weeding
Continue to track your daily steps and/or mileage; and keep notes on how you feel, how your body is improving, or other changes you are making to improve your health.
If you are in very poor physical condition or at any point you feel that you are progressing too rapidly slow down a bit and try smaller increases or consider walking poles. If you have any health concerns seek your physician's advice prior to starting or changing your exercise routine.
Article provided by Dave Barnas, M.S, CES, NASM-CPT, the owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC in Tolland, CT. Dave has over 15,000 hours of experience personal training and nutrition counseling and authored the Real Food Therapy Guide and two other publications. To promote health to the community, Dave also co-created a free on-line Newsletter called "on Inspired Living" that comes to you freely and easily via e-mail sign-up from the True Health Unlimited website.