Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Endeavor to Exercise More

Sitting is not a great way to burn calories. Unfortunately, that's what people spend most of their time doing every day. Experts recommend that the average American should strive to take 10,000 steps per day. This is equivalent to walking slightly less than 5 miles and burning 500 calories per day. I started wearing a pedometer a few years ago and I was shocked to see that I barely made 2,000 steps each day with just my normal activity. After weeks of trying in vain to get to 10,000 steps, I actually walked the entire building at work hoping it would accelerate my progress. Unbelievably, that only resulted in another 2,000 steps.  This meant that I would need to make at least five trips around the building to get to the recommended daily step goal. Being absent from my desk for extended periods of time so many times per day would certainly raise questions. Luckily, I found several ways to stay active and get the recommended number of steps without making it an inconvenient chore.

Scheduling physical activity is a good way to get at least 50 percent of your daily step count completed. I also find that when I set aside at least 30 minutes during lunch to walk outside, I am able to get even closer to 10,000 steps. If you spend most of your time at home or just don't want to walk or run outside, then a Leslie Sansone walking workout is perfect. All you have to do is pop the workout in your DVD player and exercise in the comfort of your home. Exercising at home is generally a great idea for anyone who is pressed for time because you can work out when it's convenient for you. Since I have a toddler, I wake up at 5:30 am so I can exercise without interruption.

If you work in an office and spend most of the day sitting at a desk, you can squeeze in some extra steps by walking around the building during your morning and afternoon breaks. Take the scenic route to the bathroom, breakroom, and cafeteria. Walk to your coworker's desk instead of calling or emailing. Most importantly, always take the stairs. If you can manage, take two or three trips up and down the stairs while you're at it.    

For most of us, our normal activity will not equal 10,000 steps per day. However, it's a lot easier to get those steps in when you concentrate on exercise for a certain amount of time every day and take advantage of opportunities to move more.


Marie Anne said...

I have my butt planted in this chair way too much, but do get up and down frequently to tend to the dogs, cats, chickens, etc.

Now that gardening time is near, I'll be spending more time outside, and take the pups for a walk every day. Every little bit helps!

Brooke Lorren said...

Walking is good, but don't forget the other ways you can exercise. Swimming, weight lifting, bike riding, and more are good workouts too. Keep it interesting. :-)

busy91 said...

I've tried the 10,000 steps in the past, that is hard work, even when you try. But I do walk as much as possible, maybe 5,000 steps a day.

Poddys said...

When I lived in Florida I would easily walk 5 miles most days, plus at the weekend I would swim and take saunas as well. Now in the UK I maybe walk 1/2 mile a day and have lost much of that stamina. With summer almost here I need to try and shake off a few pounds and to try and get fit again.