Walking For Fitness: How Much is Enough?
Have you heard of sitting disease? It’s the new name for society’s sedentary lifestyle. It’s a shocking name and there’s a reason behind it. Being sedentary can kill you. Sitting all day at your desk, in your car and on your couch causes a number of diseases. It causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain.
The good news is that you don’t have to train for a marathon or undergo an extreme fitness program to combat sitting disease and the subsequent weight gain and health conditions. You can simply walk your way to health.
Why Walking Works
Our bodies are meant to move. They’re not meant to sit. When you move your body you release important hormones into your blood stream. These hormones optimize cellular function at the most basic level. They improve your metabolism. They control hunger. They also increase your energy and even boost your sex drive. You’ll feel happier, healthier, and more balanced just by walking.
How Much Is Enough?
Fitness and nutrition experts recommend walking 10,000 steps each day. It may sound like a lot at first. However, 10,000 steps is really only about 5 miles each day. Here’s how to get your steps in.
#1 Take the stairs. Whenever you have the opportunity, take the stairs. Each step brings you one step closer to your 10,000 (and when you go down the stairs that counts too!)
#2 Park at the end of the parking lot. Unless there are safety concerns, park further away from the building. The extra steps you take between your car and the supermarket, bank or other establishment will add up quickly. Depending on your lifestyle, you may be able to add an extra 2000 steps a day just by adding this habit.
#3 Take breaks from sitting. If you’re like most people you probably sit at a desk all day. You may also sit in a car and then come home to sit at the table and couch. Take breaks from sitting. Every hour, get up and move. Walk for a few minutes. Clean a room in your home, walk the dog or just walk around and get the blood flowing.
#4 Take walks. Get outside and walk during your lunch break. Take walks in the morning to start your day or to finish it – or both. Walking in nature helps you get the vitamin D you need. It also helps you get fresh air which calms the mind.
#5 Get a treadmill. Instead of sitting on the couch at night to watch television, get a treadmill. Position the treadmill in front of your television and walk instead of sitting. You can likely get your 10,000 steps in during prime time television.
You don’t have to go big with a treadmill either. If your treadmill is to help you walk more consider getting a walking treadmill or a manual treadmill. They’re lighter and more compact. This means you’ll be able to fold it up and put it away when you’re not using it.
Walk more for better health. Get a pedometer to track your steps. Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps and invest in a treadmill to help you walk your way to better health.