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