You must have heard that you need to walk 10,000 steps a day for better health. The number actually started as a marketing campaign for a podometer company in Japan. But the American Heart Association has embraced the number to decrease heart disease in the US. The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes activity, aiming for these benefits: lower BMI, reduced waist size, increased energy, and less risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease.
While I’ve heard of the magic number of 10,000 steps, I never really took it seriously. But wanting to move more and gain those health benefits, I purchased a FITBIT last July 2014. I got a FITBIT Flex, sporting a plastic band on my left wrist every single day. Inside the band is a device that monitors your steps, calories burned, and if you wish sleep patterns. The data is then synced to your computer or iphone. In the beginning, I got obsessed about achieving my 10,000 steps daily. I felt a sense of triumph when I hit 10,000 and it buzzed in my arm. It felt like a bit of an electric shock to alert your success reaching your daily goal. I was dismayed on days I failed to reach my daily step quota. I somewhat felt like a prisoner with an ankle monitor, alerting in this case some imaginary authorities on my health efforts. I got use to the device and still wear it to this day.
An inactive person is said to clock in 3,000 steps. 10,000 steps is equivalent to five miles of walking during the day. On most days, I get 10,000 steps in.
Here are a few tips to do this:
- My favorite way to reach my 10,000 steps is Zumba.
A class with my favorite teacher, Paolo Sason, I get about 8,000 steps for 55-booty shaking minutes, plus a lot of laughs (That’s cardio that is good for the body and spirit). But do know that not all Zumba classes are created equal. I tried a gym, where I got only 4,000 steps in during the 55-minute class. So choose wisely!
- Walk to the grocery
Fortunately, there’s a supermarket close to where I live. It became my habit to do grocery shopping at 10pm, when it’s not so busy. I walk with my recyclable bags and walk back home carrying the groceries on my shoulder. Think of it as extra calories burned for weight training.
- Park far
I have to admit, this tip came to me accidentally. I am not very good in parking my car in small spaces. As a result, I choose parking with few cars around it. These parking slots are often far from the entrance of the mall or hospital or building you need to go to. The upside is I get more steps in.
- Go for morning walks or evening walks
Try adding 30 minutes of walking to your daily life. It not only makes you move more. For me, walking also clears my head and relaxes me. I walk for my spirit.
- Walk instead of driving
Whether you have to go to the bank or pay your bills, leave the car at home and walk. If your destination is within walking distance, opt to walk.
- Clever Office Hacks
A friend who works in ADB told me her tip. She puts her liter of water far away from her work desk. Every time she has to fill up her glass, she walks back and forth to her water source.
- Get a Fitbit or a pedometer
Having a FITBIT or other movement device helps you monitor your physical activity during the day. Being a writer, most of my day is spent sitting and typing away on my laptop.
Just as a postscript, FITBIT did not pay me or give me a free device. I bought my first fitbit in July. A few months later, my FITBIT flex drained too quickly and did not charge. Wanting to really push myself to hit my daily 10,000 steps, I mounted a campaign I called 1 Million steps to Christmas goal, 100 days to Christmas. I bought myself another Fitbit device, which clipped on my bra. It works on a battery (similar to watch battery) so there is no need to charge every few days. But on the downside, it does not buzz when you hit your goal. I emailed Fitbit about my problem with my Flex, they replaced my unit with a brand new unit, which I received in December 2014. I have been using it since and have been very happy with it.
So there you go, it’s time to move it, move it!
Good luck on reaching your 10,000 steps daily and if you have more tips on getting yourself to move more, share it in the comments section.
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