Step up Your Health Game
One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, and right again. By now you probably know that public health professionals recommend a daily goal of about 10,000 steps. This number may seem high if you consider that the average sedentary person only manages to reach between 2,000 and 3,000 steps per day. That said, most people have no idea how many steps they usually walk each day.
So how can you make sure you’re meeting this mark? Here are a few helpful things anyone can do to daily to get closer to this goal.
- Use a pedometer
Clip ons or wristwatches, today’s pedometers are easy to set up and even link with an app on a smart phone. There are many on the market, so take your time to find the best for your needs. Some models even send vibrating prompts to get you moving every hour.
- Take the stairs
Use the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. If you have knee or joint pain, start out by adding just one flight or walk up the escalator instead of standing still.
- Change your mode of transportation
Consider biking, walking, or taking public transportation to school or work. You be surprised how much those little distances can add up to thousands of extra steps.
- Park farther away
Instead of parking right at the entrance, park a bit further away from the door. As long as it’s a safe, these extra steps will get you closer to your goal.
- Get off a stop earlier
If you take public transportation, get off one (or two!) stops before your final destination. More movement will do your body and mind some good, and the extra time walking will give you some down time before you start the performance part of your day.
- Walk and talk
Have a phone call you need to make? Take it outside and get in some extra steps. You’ll get some fresh air and sunlight to boot! Go for a walk with a friend or walk the dog. Walk to a co-worker's office instead of calling or emailing. Or go for a walk instead of watching TV or scrolling through social media. A walk means a free portion of vitamin D and endorphins for you!
By adding more moderate physical activity to your daily routine, you’ll step up your health game in no time and reach recommended health guidelines for adults. However, before starting any new routine, you should consult your doctor or health care professional. Once you’ve gotten the “green light”, start out slowly and add one change a week. By the time you’ve worked up to 10,000 steps per day, you’ll have walked about 5 miles and burned an extra 500 calories per day.