10 Steps...to Get Your 10,000 Steps
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
LifeTime WeightLoss in 000 steps, 10, Exercise, Movement, metabolic efficiency, mitchell keyes, movement, steps, walking and weight loss

How many steps do you think you get in an average day - minus workouts?

At Life Time, we suggest the 10,000 steps/day goal because activity throughout the day makes the body’s metabolism work more efficiently.

That said, we know that 10,000 steps (outside of your workout efforts) can sound like a daunting task - especially on work days. Not everyone has the “luxury” of a treadmill desk at their home/work. Further, getting in this number of steps can be challenging if you aren’t in the habit of prioritizing frequent movement.

It’s important to start small with new habits and small victories, such as 5000-6000 steps per day, working up to 10,000 over the course of a few weeks. Here's how to do it.

Why make the effort for 10,000 steps?

In a recent article from the Chicago Tribune, several studies were used to display how sedentary lifestyles are diminishing our health. “’Sitting is the new smoking” was the phrase a researcher used to illustrate that people who spend more time sitting substantially increase their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One study showed the effectiveness of walking for lowering blood pressure and increasing overall exercise capacity, while participants of another study demonstrated significant improvements in reducing body composition and circumferential measurements.

On a more specific level, other research showed that individuals who were categorized as sedentary/low active (less than 7499 steps a day) achieved an increase in quality of life and workplace performance when put into groups that were directed to move more in the workplace.

Finally, research also tells us that consistent activity throughout the day is MORE effective at regulating a healthy metabolism than 1 hour of exercise per day. In fact, experts have also suggested that 2 minutes of light-intensity walks, every 20 minutes can help regulate your glucose metabolism.

How do I get it done?

With all this in mind, we come to the question of the day: how do fit in more movement?

1. Do an A.M. walk.

Although the morning rush may already seem stressful, give yourself an extra 15 minutes to move a little more. It doesn’t have to be your typical “morning jog.” Just shuffle off those slippers and get moving. Got a 4-legged friend? Make a commitment to take that buddy with you on your morning walk. This way you build a habit around the walk, and you’ll have somebody else relying on you to get walking first thing in the morning!

2. Park with some distance.

Rather than spend time “shopping” for the closest spot, park farther than you typically would and utilize that extra time to get those additional steps.

3. Take the stairs.

This one may be a little tough for those with an office on the 66th floor of the Sears Tower. However, why not get off a floor or two early and finish with the stairs?

4. Set movement reminders every 30-45 minutes, and take a lap.

It’s easy to become engulfed in your work only to realize that you’ve been sitting for 2-3 hours straight. Download an interval timer app for your phone, or set up calendar reminders on your computer. Use them to keep you accountable in your commitment to take more breaks and move more frequently.

5. Get a smaller water bottle.

Sorry to those “jug heads” who like to bring your massive bubba kegs of water everywhere you go. This one is simple. If you run out of water frequently, you'l have to fill it up frequently.

6. Use a different break room.

Utilize this step-accumulating opportunity to socialize with others in a less familiar environment when filling up your water or heating your meals.

7. Start a community challenge.

How about a team-based office step counting challenge? You’ll get your coworkers moving more and create a positive cultural change at work.

8. Try a lunch time walk.

Most people get an hour break for lunch or other meal time in their shift. Rather than work through it while you eat, why not download an audiobook and make the most of it with a refreshing walk outside? Soaking up some vitamin D isn’t such a bad thing either.

9. End the evening with a walk.

In a recent Flourish article, Anika discussed the importance of your partner’s “buy-in” to your health goals. Use that after dinner time to walk with a spouse and benefit from the “quality time,” rather than crash on the couch watching your/their favorite T.V. show.

10. Track your progress.

Believe it or not, activity monitors have more of an impact on your fitness than you might imagine. They can be uniquely motivating. The fact is, it’s gratifying to see the concrete results of your efforts. Some monitors have graphical displays and leader boards to help track your movement and even allow you to compete with others.

As occupations become increasingly sedentary, the need for movement becomes more and more critical. Utilize some of these ideas (and your own creative additions) to increase your movement each day and to reach that daily 10,000 step goal. It’s all about adding up small efforts to make a big health impact.

Thanks for reading. Do you wonder how many steps you fit into a day? Are you interested in learning more movement strategies that work with your daily routine? Talk with a fitness professional today. 

In health, Mitchell Keyes – Program Manager, Life Time Training

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.


Article originally appeared on LifeTime WeightLoss (http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/).
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