The rising popularity of the fitness tracker has people counting their steps. It’s a worthy pursuit. Researchers have found that walking 10,000 steps a day, or around five miles, can boost your health in significant ways.
Regular walking burns calories and inches off your waist and lowers blood pressure while reducing your risk of stroke, type II diabetes, dementia and more. Regular walkers also report improved mood, concentration and energy.
The trick is getting steps in – and lots of them. A mile is more than 2,000 steps, so 10,000 steps approach five miles in length. Can you do it in a day? It is possible if you’re paying attention to every opportunity to add up those strides.
Think of attaining 10,000 steps per as a marathon, not a sprint. Small walking breaks add up over the day. Taking a five-minute break every hour or two to go for a walk can not only help you reach your goal but also help you stay more focused and refreshed at work.
10 Ways to Get More Walking In
- Park farther away instead of taking the closest spot.
- Walk while you catch up with a co-worker or friend, instead of sitting or standing by the water cooler.
- Set an alarm on your computer to remind you to get up and take a walking break.
- Walk around the block before and after dinner, especially if you dine out.
- Use a bathroom on a different floor – at work and at home –and take the stairs.
- Too rainy outside for a walk? Dance in your living room.
- Pace while talking on the phone.
- Get up and walk around during commercial breaks.
- Get a dog or walk your neighbor’s dog.
- Wash your car in your driveway instead of driving to a car wash.
For some people, 10,000 steps are too much to start with and that is perfectly fine. Start with a number of steps you can do without too much of an increase in soreness the following day. Once you no longer get sore the following day, increase your steps until you reach 10,000.
Every step adds up, so don’t hesitate to take a walk and get the benefits of this simple way to exercise. Find a weight management program that works for you!