These feet are made for walking: How to get in on the 10,000 step challenge
By Brittany Anas
Health experts advise a daily dose of 10,000 steps a day. Depending on your stride, that shakes out to be roughly 5 miles. Walking those 10,000 steps will burn off about 20 percent of your calorie intake, helping your maintain your weight — or even lose some.
If you’re a mail carrier or work a job that requires being on your feet, there’s a good chance you’re getting near this target. But, for many workers who are desk-bound, there are small steps (pun intended) that you can take to make sure you’re getting your recommended serving of walking.
First, buy a pedometer to measure your steps. It’s a lot easier than walking with pen and paper and jotting down tally marks with each step you take.
Here are some of our favorite pedometer options:
- A basic clip-on pedometer from Sears for $14.99
- A pedometer watch from Radio Shack for $64.99
- A pocket pedometer from REI for $28
- A Fitbit that tracks calories burned from HSN for $99.99
Here are strategies that will help you reach your 10,000 steps a day:
- Walk on your lunch break: Save a portion of your lunch break to get moving. Your employer will thank you. A Lancaster University study showed that employees who took a break from their day to go walking had higher productivity levels and job satisfaction as well as more confidence.
- Take the stairs: Whether you’re at the office or the mall, just say no to the escalators and elevators. You’ll be able to log some steps and if you’re going a few flights, the incline will work those thigh muscles.
- Volunteer at the humane society: If you don’t have a dog of your own to walk, sign up to walk some foster doggies at the local animal shelter. You’ll most likely need to go through some volunteer training, but you’ll get the feel-good rush that comes from being part of a good cause.
- Park far away: Don’t circle the parking lot looking for rock star parking close to the store or office. Parking your car remotely could mean fewer scratches from stray grocery carts, too.
- Walk on the treadmill while watching television: Why not implement a rule that the only time you get to watch your favorite shows is when you’re walking on the treadmill? You’ll get sucked into the screen and forget you’re even exercising. Don’t have a treadmill at home? Go to your gym and stream the shows on your iPad.
- Walk your kids home from school on spring days: When the weather is nice, surprise you kids at their school and save them a bus trip home. You’ll log extra steps walking to their school.
- Take a family walk: Getting ice cream for dessert? Work for it and take a family walk up to the ice cream shop. (Watching calories? Order a fudge bar).
- Window shop: If the weather is crummy, stroll around your local mall.
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