Aiming to walk 10,000 steps per day?
Are 10,000 steps per day currently in your reach? Is it too high? Possibly even too low? 10,000 steps per day may seem like a lofty goal but if done safe and progressively, it can be achieved by most healthy adults. Currently the average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which is roughly 1.5-2 miles. By achieving a greater count you decrease your risk of metabolic syndrome, it could assist with weight loss, and enhance mood and well being.
Begin by getting your baseline or average number of steps over a few consecutive days or one week. This can be done by wearing a pedometer or a fitness tracking watch. Put it on first thing in the morning and wear it until bedtime. Don’t forget to log your step count each night! A reasonable goal is to increase your step count each week by 500 until you can easily average 10,000 steps. Here are some helpful ways to increase your daily count!
- Walk your dog. Or volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter or your friend's pet.
- Schedule work day breaks. Make sure you’re getting up and moving during your work day. Set 1-2 reminders during your busy day to enjoy the fresh air. If you’re in a time crunch, the halls can work for brisk walking too. If you have a one-on-one meeting perhaps you can do it while walking?
- Park further away. Choose a spot further from the entrance.
- Take the stairs. If you’re not at a high risk for falling, challenge yourself by avoiding the handrail.
- Post-meal walk. Take a short 10-15 min walk after each meal.
- Take extra trips after shopping. When unloading grocery or shopping bags don’t compile all bags together for one quick trip. Instead take a few bags at a time. Those steps add up!
- Get a treadmill desk. Make sure to build up the time spent on this gradually. It would be recommended to start with 4x15 minutes and progress as your feel comfortable with limited soreness or fatigue.
- Play with your kids. Activities with your kids will definitely help boost your step count. Games like hide and seek, tag, and treasure hunt/geocaching are great for increasing step count.
Keep your family and close friends up to date on your current step count goals. They can help keep you motivated to reach your goal! We are rooting for you!