Putting On Your Walking Shoes
Yep, those are my purple walking shoes! I have never owned a pair of purple and pink walking shoes before and my husband laughs every time (playful of course) when I put them on…
I am embracing my feminine shoes, and hey they are super comfortable and they were on sale…bonus! And my girls love these “cool” shoes! (I had to mention that, because I won’t be cool for long as they start to enter the tween stage of life). So lets talk a bit about putting your walking shoes on…
Let me start by asking you if you know how many steps you walk a day? You know I thought I was a very active person, but then I got a Jawbone UP ~ a device that records your daily steps, sleep patterns, food intake and activity, and I quickly realized that I was NOT getting anywhere near enough steps to live a healthy lifestyle.
The Benefits of Walking
There are so many health benefits when walking is added to your daily routine. Here are just a few:
- Weight loss
- Maintaing an ideal weight
- Prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure and and type 2 diabetes.
- Strengthen your muscles and bones
- Helps in balancing hormones and lifting your mood
- Saves money from gym memberships
- Helps improve your sex life
- Reduces your chances of stroke
- Can reduce your chances of developing dementia later in life (source)
So with all these healthy benefits, one might wonder how much they should be walking a day to reap the benefits? Well lets talk about this…
How Many Steps Should I Be Walking A Day?
Have you heard or read the recent guidelines about how many steps you should be getting a day? That number is 10,000 steps a day! So what does that mean. Lets break this down.
- An average person has a stride length of 2.5 feet long. So to make sense of this, approximately 2,000 steps equals a mile. So, 10,000 steps is roughly 5 miles (10,000 steps ÷ 2000 steps = 5 miles).
Does 5 miles seem like a lot to walk in a day? Now we aren’t talking about 5 extra miles a day, we are talking about fitting this in throughout the day.
10,000 steps seems like a lot but it really isn’t to hard to accomplish.
Here are a few changes that I made to increase my steps to 10,000 a day. It really isn’t all that bad…for real! I average around 14,000 – 20,000 steps a day.
How Do I Get 10,000 Steps A Day
When I started to track my steps, I remember thinking “how in heavens name am I going to get my 10,000 steps?” Well I made a few changes to my lifestyle and now I hit 10,000 steps almost everyday without a problem. Here is how:
1. Treadmill Desk ~ I work in an office out of my home. Somehow I had to figure a way that allowed me to get exercise while I work, and I built a treadmill desk to help me achieve my goals. What is a treadmill desk? I plan on doing a post on this next week, but it is a desk that you put on your treadmill that allows you to put your computer on it and you walk slowly (I mean slow, I walk at a 2.0) and work as you walk.
It isn’t as hard as it sounds. I typically walk 2 hours in the morning while I am scheduling my Facebook post for the day. I would be sitting at a desk, so instead of sitting I am just lightly walking at my treadmill desk. Here is a picture of my treadmill desk. I absolutely LOVE it!!
2. If it is less than 1 mile away, walk ~ I have a little grocery store that is less than a mile away. It is a place where I run and pick up a quick gallon of milk or a dozen of eggs when in a pinch. This store is just shy of 1 mile from my house and takes me less than 10 minutes to jump in the car, get my groceries and be back at my house sitting at my computer (see how sedentary I have become?).
So instead of jumping in the car, I now walk to the store to pick up my small bag of groceries. Let me tell you, my last trip I had 1 gallon of milk, 1 dozen of eggs and 2 quarts of mineral water. Now I have to admit, that was a challenge to carry for the full mile and up my hills, but hey I did it and survived just fine! And I added 6,000 steps to my day from that 1 walk!
3. Take a walk with your kids, spouse, friend or dog after dinner ~ I absolutely love this tip the best. I mean what is not to love about it. I am getting out in nature, into some sunlight, spending time with the ones I love and teaching my girls that exercise is part of our day and our way!
4. Purchase a pedometer or a Jawbone UP ~ Everyone needs a starting point. As I mentioned earlier, I have a Jawbone UP and I love it! It wasn’t until I got my Jawbone UP that I realized that I wasn’t getting enough steps for a healthy lifestyle. I will dive into this product next week and do a review on it so you can see if it is the right fit for you. I love mine! It amazes me how much information a little band can give you. You can read more about it here: UP by Jawbone This is way more then a pedometer and truly takes a holistic approach to health and well being.
My husband and I both own a Jawbone UP and we work together to help each other accomplish our goals. If you do not want to spend the money one similar to this, then just get a pedometer to track your steps.
5. Always Be conscious of your activity level and have fun~ Once you become conscious of your activity level, whether it be to active or not active enough, knowing this information can help you through your health journey. Be observant on where you can fit in more exercise and keep in mind, exercise does not have to come in the form of a gym or a “workout”!
Park far away at the grocery store so you get more steps. Pace the floor when you are talking on the phone, especially the hour long conversation to your mom (or hey is that just me…but every time I talk to my mom it is an hour long conversation). 🙂 Get out with some friends and go on a hike or just get out and run around with your kids.
Remember when you were a kid. I don’t know about you, but I played outside from 9am – 9pm every day. We were riding bikes, swimming, playing kick the can, chasing each other while playing tag…this is all exercise! We didn’t know it then, exercise was just incorporated into fun!
We need to do the same. I am going to say it again. Exercise needs to be fun. Get exercise from things that you enjoy doing. If you enjoy it, exercise will become a staple in your life!
Can I Lose Weight From Walking?
The answer: ABSOLUTELY!! There are so many health benefits to increasing your steps per day. Everyone should strive to get at least 10,000 steps or 5 miles of walking in a day. I know that might seem overwhelming, but with a few changes you can quickly accomplish this.
Most individuals can add an extra half hour activity and accomplish their goal of 10,000 steps.
But what if you want to work this into a weight loss program. Great news…this can easily be done! Do you have some extra weight that you would like to start shedding?
If you are looking to lose weight while walking, increase your daily steps to 12,000-15,000 steps a day or to 6 – 7 1/2 miles a day.
Losing weight can be done with walking and you can easily fit it into your everyday lifestyle. You just need to be conscious of your activity level and find ways that you can enjoy life all while fitting in some more walking.
So I would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on all this walking. Do you have any ideas how many steps you are walking a day?