Last year around the time, I accepted a health challenge that has now become part of my lifestyle. The challenge was to get in 1,000,000 steps in 6 months. I thought to myself, this should be easy enough. Along with the walking and exercising that I was already doing, I thought that I could meet the goal without doing much extra. A month into the challenge I shared my results with a colleague who also accepted the challenge and whom I knew to be less active than I prior to the challenge. During that exchange I learned that the colleague had exceeded my number of steps. We’d both done well and were on point to meet the goal but the exchange made me think that I should do more. In addition to my exercise, which could be converted into steps per the challenge, I decided to set a goal to walk 10,000 steps 6 days a week. This made a huge difference. The following month when comparing with that same colleague my numbers were significantly higher. It then became a friendly competition between the two of us. Long story short, I met the challenge a month and a half early and my colleague also met the goal soon thereafter.
Walking is a natural part of most of our daily lives. 10,000 steps equates to about 5 miles. Our bodies need movement. Research shows that walking just a couple of minutes every hour increases our lifespan by 33 percent. In order to reach 10,000 steps a day you will have to be very intentional. Chose a further parking space from the building, take the stairs, walk 30 minutes at lunch, walk 30 minutes in the evening, you can also walk while taking phone calls.
Get creative and be intentional when it comes to moving your body. As we now are hearing from scientists that sitting is the new smoking. The average American spends over eight hours a day sitting. Sitting for this long is associated with an increased risk of death from many ailments including stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Set a walking goal or even a movement goal. Movement is needed and beneficial to your health. Using a pedometer or some other wearable fitness device to track your movement will most assuredly inspire you to get your body moving. Now that I’ve reminded you how important movement is to your health: Get to steppin’!