Friday, 14 January 2011

How Many Steps?

In the fall at my physical my doctor challenged me to begin tracking how many steps I took each day. She told me that 5,000 steps per day were what you would expect for a sedentary person and my goal was to get to 10,000 steps per day. 

I began tracking my steps...I barely hit 3,000 the first day. I didn't set out to do more than usual, but I did assume that I was walking a decent amount already. The 3,000 even included a quick 15 minute walk with my dog, for goodness sakes!

It's a bit more work than I expected.

So, over the last couple of months I've been tracking my steps and trying to get more every day. Some days I definitely get closer to my goal of 10,000, other days not so much. I do want to lose weight, as well, so I actually need to get to at least 12,000/day.

Here is some research I found from

Based on the best evidence as of the end of 2003, Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke recommends the following:

Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:
1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active."
3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".
If you add just 2000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. So says research by Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. To lose weight, add in more steps.
Sneaky Steps at Home and Work
• Park in the far back of the parking lot and walk further to the door.
• Get off the bus a stop or two before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way.

• Use the furthest entrance into your workplace from your parking spot or bus stop, and walk through the building to your work area.
• Don't stand, pace - when waiting for the bus, waiting at an elevator, etc. pace around in circles rather than just standing.
• Circle the room when waiting for meetings to start.
• Use the restroom, copy machine, water fountain, break room, etc. that is further from your work area.
• Take the stairs rather than the elevator, especially for one to three floors, both up and down.
• When making a phone call, stand up and pace around as you talk.
• Rather than phone or email, walk to a coworker's office or neighbor's house and talk to them live.
• When people stop to talk with you, make it a moving meeting and walk around together while chatting.
• Hide the TV remote and walk to the TV to change channels.
• During TV commercials, get up and walk around the house.
• When doing errands, park in a central location and walk to your store destinations.
• Return the shopping cart all the way into the store after grocery shopping.
• Never drive through - get out and park and walk into the bank or fast food stop instead.

Short Dedicated Walks
• Marching Minutes - every 30 minutes get up from your desk or easy chair and do 1-5 minutes of walking in place and stretching your arms, shoulders and neck.
• Before eating lunch, take a 10 minute walking break.
• Walk the dog.
• Look over your usual trips in the car - are there any that you could do as walks instead, such as to the post office?
• If you take your kids to sports or activities, dedicate 10-20 minutes of that time to walking around after dropping them off or when you arrive early to pick them up.
• When waiting at the airport - secure your bags and take a good walk around the terminal area. Don't take the people-mover sidewalks.
Walking Steps Equivalents

1 mile = 2100 average steps.
1 block = 200 average steps
10 minutes of walking = 1200 steps on average
Bicycling or swimming = 150 steps for each minute.
Weight lifting = 100 steps per minute
Rollerskating = 200 steps per minute

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