Most of us live a very sedentary lifestyle. We get up in the morning, grab our coffee and sit down at the table. We get ready for work and sit in a car to get there. We spend the next 8 hours sitting at our desk only to get home and sit down for dinner before we plop down on the couch to watch some TV. In other words, we don’t usually move around much over the course of our day. What we need is a little motivation and a way to track exactly how much (or how little) we move around.
The perfect way to do this is to use a pedometer. A pedometer will keep track of how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day. You can order one online or pick it up at your favorite sports supply store and clip it to your pants. You’ll also find quite a few tracking devices on the market like a Fitbit or other fitness and activity tracking devices. Some will clip to your pants or bra, others you’ll wear like a watch.
Before you go out and buy a device, check your smart phone. Many newer models have pedometers built in. If you carry your phone around with you at all times, it may be a great way to track your steps and your activity level without having to invest in another electronic device.
Start by tracking your normal level of activity. Just go about your day as usual and note how many daily steps you take. Track it for a week and come up with a daily average. Write that number down. Chances are it will be well below the recommended 10,000 steps per day. For some of it will be quite a bit less than half that number. That’s ok. It’s just a starting point.
Your next goal is to increase your average by 1,000 steps per day. Start parking a little further away from your office, walk over to ask a colleague a question instead of calling and go for a short walk after dinner.
Keep tracking your daily steps and increase your daily goal by 1,000 steps every few weeks until you make it a habit to walk at least 10,000 steps. It’s not as hard as you may think and the beauty of doing this instead of a walking workout or a daily trip to the gym to hop on the stationary bike or treadmill is that you can get more active in little spurts throughout the day. Walk around while you are talking on the phone, park in a central location and walk from store to store as you shop, take a quick stroll on your lunch break.
You’ll find all sorts of different ways to sneak in a little more activity throughout your day. Before you know it you’ll reach and surpass your 10,000 step goal and won’t be able to imagine moving around less