This article will help guide you to walking yourself healthy. It is meant to be a slow progression so you do not end up with sore muscles.
Walking every day can help you: prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, it will reduce blood pressure, body fat, prevent bone loss and osteoporosis, it will increase your energy levels, reduce stress and improve your mood.
10,000 steps is equivalent to approximately 5 miles. WOW!!! Sounds like a lot. Where do I begin?
Purchase your pedometer – set it for your strides
DAY 1: Your first day go about your normal business and at the end of the day record how many steps you took. Most individuals take 2000 to 3500 steps in a day.
DAY 2: As soon as you wake up zero your pedometer and put it on. Go about your daily activity again. By 3 pm see how many steps you have accumulated. Remember yesterday’s number? If you are not close to that number you need to start walking a little extra. If you are ahead of yesterday’s number keep on going. Before you go to sleep write that number down.
Day 3: Zero you pedometer and put it on first thing in the morning. What ever your last number was try to beat it by an additional 500 steps. (even if you are at 10,000 steps). My personal goal is 15,000 to 20,000 steps a day. It just makes you feel good so start moving.
Day 4 and 5: Those additional steps that you added in yesterday hold on to that and don’t go any higher. Let the body get used to it.
Day 6: Try and add in another 500 steps.
Your goal is to try and add in 500 steps every 3 days until you hit the 10,000 steps. Hold at that 10.000 steps for a few weeks and then try and add in another 500 steps. You always want to challenge your body.
Suggestions on how you can add in more steps. Instead of phoning your colleague down the hall, walk over to their office. If someone offers to bring you a cup of coffee, go with them instead. If there is a short cut or a long way to get somewhere, take the long way.
Don’t forget that this is the total amount of steps at the end of the day not one walking session.
A person who walks 10,000 steps per day burns approximately 2000 to 3500 extra kilocalories per week. That can add up to 1 pound per week. Yes it is a lot of work to take off one pound per week but there are no magic bullets out there. Make it fun and walk with a friend or walk your pets. Choose a picturesque setting or listen to music with a beat.
For those of you who do walk on a regular basis or once your have been walking for awhile do not forget to add in some variety. The body does get used to a certain speed and style of walking. Try some interval walking by increasing your speed every so often to increase your heart rate even more or try to add in some inclines. If you do not have inclines or hills where you live add in a few stairs to change your stride and intensity. All of these little things will help you out in the long run.
Just start moving!!!
Ellen Miller is a Fitness Practitioner/personal trainer and the originator of the IsoBreathing program. She has been teaching lifestyle changes for almost 30 years. Sign up for her newsletter at www.isobreathing.com. Her email address is Ellen@isobreathing.com and she does answer all emails herself.