I’m still obsessed, I mean fascinated, with how many steps I take each day now that I have a pedometer to play with. A pedometer is a way of measuring how many steps you take over a period of time, usually in one day.
In my last article "Step it Up! Improve your Health", I talked about discovering, after wearing a pedometer for one week, that I walk at least 10,000 steps during the weekend. During the week, though, I was averaging about 3,000 steps on the days that I write and do administrative work.
While I do yoga at least two days per week and I'm meeting the governments suggested requirements for exercise for a day, I still want to get more steps in.
I did some research to find out just what 10,000 steps per day is. The answer I came up with was that it depends on the size of your steps. Generally 10,000 steps is about five miles.
Five miles is a very active goal every day and I decided that 10,000 steps is not reasonable for me every day. On the days I do yoga I exercise for one and a half hours so at least 4,000 steps is awesome. On other days I will set a goal of at least 7,500 to 10,000 steps.
Researchers have found that people that wear a pedometer are more motivated to be active. The most improved activity happened when people wore a pedometer and set an activity goal that they were focused on achieving while wearing their pedometer.
A summary of 26 studies compiled in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who used pedometer walked about 2,000 steps more and increased their activity level up to 27 percent.
In order to help me achieve my goals I came up with or tried these strategies to get my step count up:
- I parked at the far end of the parking lot from the store I wanted to go to and walked in. This actually caused me to not only walk back and forth to the store but it also caused me to make an extra trip to drop off the cart.
- I walked the field while I watched my brother’s soccer team play. This is great for any mom or dad that is waiting or watching their child.
- Instead of sitting in the bleachers put on your shoes and exercise while watching.
- I took one fifteen minute walk in the middle of the day and another at end of the day.
- I walked with my best friend during the weekend.
- I walked to the local grocery store for incidentals.
- I got up from my desk and did five minutes of running in place.
- I walked to my garden plot instead of driving down the hill. The walk up was tough.
Have I piqued your interest in wearing a pedometer yet? I know I have convinced at least five of my friends to get one.
Tweet me at @DrDae or www.facebook.com/HealthyDaes
Let me know about your pedometer experiment! Join in the fun!