Ten thousand is a very large number no matter what it is you’re counting. But when it comes to physical activity, achieving 10,000 steps per day is very attainable and well worth the effort! Regular exercise decreases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and injury while increasing your self-esteem, energy level and overall health.
You probably already take more steps each day than you realize, so don’t get overwhelmed by a seemingly daunting number. Reality is, the average inactive person takes 1000-3000 steps a day just walking around their house. Just think about the steps you add walking to-and-from you vehicle, into work, at the grocery store or chasing kids around the house. Throw in an evening walk, jog or exercise class and you’re well on your way to achieving your goal.
30-60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity meets the daily exercise recommendation by most health authorities to reduce health risks.
Depending on the length of your stride, 2000-2500 steps equals approximately one mile, and walking a mile burns about 80 calories for a 150-pound person. Depending on your weight, 10,000 steps burn between 250 and 600 calories!
Here are 10 simple ways to increase the number of steps you take each day, making the trek toward a more physically active lifestyle:
- Park further away from the entrance at work, the mall, school, etc.
- Take the stairs whenever possible, rather than riding the elevator or escalator
- Take pets for a daily walk– you'll both enjoy the fresh air!
- Walk to nearby places like the grocery store, post office or restaurants instead of driving
- Set up a walking club with neighbors or co-workers
- Take a family walk after dinner, which also teaches your children to be physically active
- Head outside for a nature trail walk, and enjoy the colorful leaves this time of year
By implementing a few simple lifestyle changes and participating in regular exercise, you’ll be on your way to 10,000 steps per day in no time flat!