How many steps a day do you think you walk? Go ahead - take a guess. Remember what you guessed and we'll see how close you are to the daily recommended amount.
I like to think that I'm pretty active - after all, I am constantly running around doing stuff. Plus we spend a lot of time outside, geocaching. In the summer, when we're at the lake, I am always running up and down the hill to the boat dock, walking to the resort down the street, hiking in the woods. You get the idea.
But winter, well, that's another story. I work from home, so some days I don't even leave the house. My activity level pretty much consists of walking to my office, sitting down and working, walking to the kitchen for something to drink, toss in some laundry, walk back to my office, go fix some lunch, fold the laundry, fix dinner, do the dishes, watch tv and write blog posts. Sound familiar? Definitely not a lot of walking activity, altho honestly, I never gave it much thought.
Then my son told me that I should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day - yes, you heard that right - 10 THOUSAND steps a day. Tony downloaded a free app to my phone called Pacer. It tracks your steps, sort of like a Fitbit, but a lot cheaper since it's free. I'd love a Fitbit but I can't justify the cost, so Pacer it is. I wore my phone on my belt around the house for a few days and I was appalled at what I found out..... Most days, when I stay home, I walk less than 800 steps per day. OMG!!! That is horrible!
According to the Fitbit blog site, you should strive for an average of 10,000 steps per day. That's approximately 5 miles. And if you're aiming to lose some weight you probably need to do more steps than that.
Now before you faint from that number, let me tell you - it's easier to reach that goal than you think. For example, yesterday we went geocaching for a few hours and I easily added 2500 steps to my daily total. Then last night I hopped on the treadmill and added just over 2000 steps by walking just a mile. I did that mile in 15 minutes, which isn't a lot of time out of my day, right?
Here's what I do when I'm on the treadmill. I walk for 2 minutes at a quick walking pace of 3.5 to warm up. Then I up the pace to 4.5 and run for a minute. I keep alternating walking with running like this....
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 5.5 for 1 minute
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 6.0 for 1 minute
Finish up with a 3.5 walk until I hit the one mile mark. Done! Starting this week I'm going to add 1 block more per week in order to increase my steps. I can afford 15 - 30 minutes per day on the treadmill in order to increase my steps. Plus I cheat and watch tv while I'm doing it, so it's kind of a no brainer.
If you don't have a treadmill, then get your butt outside. Walk around your neighborhood, go to the park, hike a trail, or, if it's raining - go walk the mall - just steer clear of the food court. Start slow and aim for a couple thousand steps per day, increasing it by 1000 steps per week if you're able to do so. Go check out the Fitbit website for a complete explanation of what you should do.
At any rate - do something. Get up and start aiming for your 10,000 steps per day. So, how many steps do you think you walk per day?? Download Pacer or strap on your Fitbit and see how close you are.