New Recommendations for Daily Steps
The newly recommended number for the average person to walk each and every day is now increased to 15K steps per day. Sitting is now the new smoking. Research shows multiple adverse health conditions result from a sedentary lifestyle. Walking is an easy exercise activity for almost everyone.
The best way to know how many steps you’re walking every day is to wear a pedometer or use an accurate app on your phone to keep track of your steps. If you use the phone app, make sure that you either carry or pocket your phone all day in order to get an accurate reading. The number should include all steps from the moment you get out of bed until you climb into bed again at night.
Monitor to Manage
Commit to keeping a chart of your results for one week and then see how close you’re coming to 15K a day. If you are averaging lower numbers, add 500 steps daily for one week by consciously walking more. Each week add another 500 steps each day until you are consistently getting 15K a day.
There are a number of things you can do to increase your steps if you’re not hitting 15K easily. Just open your door and walk outside for a good start. Walk in a nearby indoor mall if the weather is not conducive to stepping outdoors.
When you run errands, safely park your car as far as you can from your intended destination and then walk. Before you return to your car, walk around the block in the opposite direction before heading to your car.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If you see the moving walkway, skip it or at least walk on it instead of standing and letting it move you.
Volunteer to take your friend’s dog for a walk or rescue a dog of your own. This will definitely commit you to more walks around the block with your new canine friend.
When you have phone meetings or when you call friends or relatives to catch up, move while you talk. Walking and talking is a good way to add more steps to your day. Invite a friend to walk and talk in person. It’s a great way to reconnect as well as enjoy the fresh outdoors.
Best Places to Walk
Investigate your neighborhood for hiking trails or walking paths and then start going there for your walks. Sometimes the local schools or parks have tracks around the athletic fields that are a smooth, safe surface for walking.
Inside your house, go up and down the stairs twice as often as necessary. On purpose! Vacuum the house or sweep the kitchen and move around more than minimally required while you do it. Or dance while you’re vacuuming! Get rid of the TV remote and get up to change the channel. If your TV only works with the remote, get up and walk back and forth to the TV every time you change the channel anyway. Pick up everything that’s out of place in your home nightly and create extra trips to put them away. It may not be efficient but it will increase your steps.
Planning Supports Encouragement
Don’t get discouraged and think there is no way you can hit those kinds of numbers for daily steps. With a little forethought and conscious effort, you will be able to get to 15K a day. Simultaneously, you’re strengthening your muscles, your cardiovascular system, your brain, your lungs and you’re burning calories. Why are you still sitting there? It’s time to get moving!
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