Regular walking can have an amazing positive impact on your life, health, and fitness. A daily recommendation is to take 10,000 steps a day, or about five miles.
Start by getting a pedometer. A pedometer is a small, battery-operated device that registers each step you take. Some pedometers also calculate distance, speed, and calories burned. Others have added fun functions like talking or play music. Generally, pedometers cost less than $20 and can be found in most sporting goods stores or drug stores. Pedometers help make walking more interesting, challenging, and fun.
Once you have your pedometer, read the instructions. You will be ready to follow these steps:
- Set your step counter to zero at the beginning of each day. Wear it from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night.
- Record the amount of steps you take every day for one week.
- At the end of the week, calculate your daily average. Divide your total number of steps by 7. For example, if you walked a total of 21,000 steps for the week, simply divide that number by 7 days. Your average steps per day would be 3000.
- After figuring out how many steps you normally take, add 5-10% to that number and make that your goal for the next week. If you averaged 3000 steps per day, try increasing the amount of steps you take by 150-300 steps daily.
- Dedicate yourself to achieving 10,000 steps every day for the next six months. It takes about that long to establish a new habit. If you stick to your routine, you'll be able to maintain your new, active lifestyle. You'll be helping to keep yourself healthy, fit, and slim.
You’ll discover that using a step counter can be a lot of fun. Before you know it, you'll be looking for more opportunities to walk each day!
You might also want to visit the Walk to School Program website.
Now you are ready to walk your way to a longer, happier, and healthier life!
Consult your physician before starting any exercise program.
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