One of the most common problems in America right now is the lack of exercise or any physical activity. It can cause an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The good news for you is that you can change how much activity you do everyday.
One of the best physical activities you can do for your mind and body is walking. Studies have shown that walking interventions are great to get people to increase their physical activity daily. In one study, over a 4 week period, people that increased their walking daily lost an average of almost 3 lbs. Not only does walking help with weight loss, but it can also improve your mood, self-esteem, and can help with anxiety.
The recommended daily steps for health is 10,000 steps per day and for weight loss its 20,000 steps a day. Doesn’t that sound like a lot? I know my pedometer on my phone averaged between 8-10,000 steps per day, and I struggle to get to that number. But the good news is that by changing little things in your life you can reach those numbers! I can only recall a handful of days that I actually reached the 20,000 steps in one day and I literally was moving for about 12 hours straight.
Walking is great because you can do it anywhere and you SHOULD walk more often. You can take a look at my article about Exercising at the Office to get some great tips about getting in more physical activity while at work.
If you are struggling to get more than 3-4,000 steps in daily, then you need to start getting in some more activity to reach the recommended steps daily. Check out the examples listed below to increase your step count daily.
- When you go to the store, park further away from the entrance. This is an easy adjustment to make and can give you a lot of added steps to your day. Instead of trying to find the closest parking spot, which you are typically driving around and around for, go for that further parking spot!
- When you are watching TV, walk in place when a commercial comes on. Don’t be the couch potato any longer! Take a walking break every time there is a commercial. If you are like me and haven’t had cable in years and don’t plan on it, then you are never going to get commercials. Instead, take a walking break every 10 minutes and walk for 5 minutes every time.
- Walk around the neighborhood. This is another easy one to do, but you just have to find the time to fit this one in. Just go for a walk or a jog around your neighborhood for 10-20 minutes everyday. Taking this break and going outside for a walk can really help clear your mind and relieve stress while getting your steps in.
- Play sports. Go play your favorite sport with some friends and family and get your entire family involved. Whether you like volleyball, baseball, tennis, or soccer just get out and go play. You won’t even realize that you are adding steps in because you’ll be having fun.
These are only four ways for you to add extra steps to your daily routine. You can improve your overall fitness and health as long as you do more physical activity, which includes walking more every day. If you have no idea how many steps you average per day, Iphone has a health app that already comes with a programmed Health app that tracks how many steps you take daily once you set it up. You can also purchase a Fitbit or another type of pedometer. You just need something that can give you an average of your daily steps that way you know where you are with how much you’re moving and where you need to go!