February Challenge: Extra Steps, but Make it Fun!

One month of 2023 has come and gone! Time for our next monthly challenge….

Getting in Extra Steps!

I’m sure you’ve all heard that the goal is 10,000 steps per day. For some of you with active jobs and lifestyles, that may be a breeze! But for others, who may sit behind a desk the majority of the day or have less opportunity for movement, this may seem daunting. Have you ever wondered who came up with the 10,000 step idea anyway?

The idea that walking 10,000 steps should be a daily goal came from a Japanese campaign from the 1960s, according to Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard paleoanthropologist. Lieberman claims that the Japanese phrase, Manpo-Kei (or 10,000-step-meter in English) was invented by the maker of the first commercial pedometer who chose it because it sounded catchy.* Imagine that!

Like most things health-related, a daily step number isn’t one-size-fits-all.

So, here’s my specific challenge for YOU! – Walk 1,000 steps MORE per day. If you’re currently averaging 1,000 steps per day, aim for 2,000. If you’re averaging 10,000 already, aim for 11,000. Instead of overwhelming yourself with a goal that’s way too different than what you’re currently doing, set realistic goals. That’s the key!

We all know that regular movement is beneficial, but I believe walking is a totally underrated form of exercise! So, why is walking so important?

Regular walking can help you*:

  • Reduce stress and tension
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
  • Prevent or manage health conditions including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
  • Improve endurance
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve your mood, memory, and sleep
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Strengthen your immune system

That’s right! Simply walking can do all of that for your mental and physical health! If walking isn’t your style, might I suggest making it fun for YOU!? Some great alternatives to regular walks are: dance – throw on a YouTube dance video or simply groove to your favorite music, get your dogs and family involved and make it a family activity, or just throw in some jumping jacks, high knees, and other quick cardio blasts throughout the day! – Did you know? I offer guided quick 10 minute cardio videos in my virtual personal training and wellness app!

Whatever you choose to do to get those extra steps in, make it fun! You’re more likely to stick to it that way. I can’t wait to hear about how you’re crushing these extra 1,000 steps by March! In the meantime, leave a comment below and let me know how January’s challenge of drinking more water went, and keep hydrated while you’re getting in this extra cardio!

You’ve got this

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About Author

Heather Hausman is a dedicated and passionate fitness professional with expertise in personal training, corrective exercise, and yoga instruction. With years of experience in the industry, Heather has developed a reputation for her commitment to helping individuals improve their overall health and well-being. As a certified personal trainer, Heather possesses a deep understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. She specializes in designing tailored fitness programs that address specific needs and goals, taking into account individual strengths, limitations, and any existing injuries. Heather's approach focuses on functional movement patterns, corrective exercises, and strength training, aiming to optimize her clients' physical performance and reduce the risk of future injuries. In addition to her personal training expertise, Heather is a certified corrective exercise specialist. She has a keen eye for identifying muscle imbalances, postural deviations, and movement dysfunctions. By assessing and addressing these issues, she helps her clients restore proper alignment, enhance mobility, and achieve optimal movement patterns. Heather's corrective exercise programs are designed to promote long-term muscular balance, joint stability, and overall functional fitness. Furthermore, Heather is a dedicated yoga teacher, guiding her clients on a journey of physical and mental well-being. She combines her knowledge of yoga philosophy, breath-work, and mindfulness with her understanding of biomechanics to create well-rounded and transformative yoga experiences. Heather's classes focus on improving flexibility, strength, balance, and inner calm, fostering a holistic approach to fitness and overall wellness. Heather is known for her empathetic and supportive approach, creating a safe and encouraging environment for her clients to achieve their fitness goals. She believes in the power of education and empowers her clients with the knowledge and tools necessary to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Heather's genuine passion for helping others, combined with her expertise in personal training, corrective exercise, and yoga instruction, makes her a trusted and invaluable resource for individuals seeking to improve their physical and mental well-being.