10000 Steps A Day

If you're looking to get fit, the 10000 steps a day challenge is a good place to start.

You don’t have to bust your butt at the gym every day to get in shape. If you’re like a large proportion of our population, you probably don’t have a gym membership. So what do you do to get in shape? Do you participate in community sports? Do you go bike riding, rollerblading, or running? These are only a few suggestions on how to stay active. If this sounds like too much work, try dancing, or even walking.

Yes, walking is healthy for you and everyone can do it. It’s free. You can do it outdoors or in the mall before the crowds arrive. You can walk to and/or from work, you can take a 30 minute walk on your lunch break. The list goes on. The question is: are you doing it?

Take the 10,000 steps a day challenge and see how much better you will feel. In order for your fitness to improve, you must walk at a moderate level of intensity. This translates to 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate. That’s 220 minus your age to get your maximum heart rate and you can figure out your percentage from there. Remember, this moderate intensity is a brisk pace, so pick up the speed.

The benefits of walking are numerous. Studies indicate that hypertensive individuals can reduce their systolic pressure on the 10000 steps a day program and studies on mental and emotional health also indicate positive changes in mood after physical activity. Other benefits associated with walking include:

  • Increased flexibility and coordination
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease
  • Reduced body fat

How do you know if you’re getting your 10000 steps?

Step 1: pick up a pedometer at your local fitness store

Step 2: clip it to your belt or the waistband of your clothes

Step 3: wear it on a typical day to see how many steps you usually take

Step 4: wear it for a 30 – 45 minute workout (walk at a brisk pace)

CHALLENGE: Perform a walking workout every day for the next 4 weeks.

Progress is accomplished one step at a time.

Pick up your pedometer and get started.

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