Everybody knows that the core of exercising is movement and that more movement is great for your health. One of the simplest forms of movement that’s great for you is walking. You’ve most likely heard the standard recommendation of getting ten thousand steps a day but who even started it?
Well, it originated from a Japanese company that created a device named Manpo-kei which means “ten thousand step meter”. The name was a marketing tool but today it has become the standard goal for walking.
That aside, ten thousand steps is an excellent goal and it’s sure to benefit your health.
Setting an appropriate goal
Everyone has a different step goal based on their current movement level. So, the first step is knowing your current level of movement. You can do this by tracking your steps for two weekdays and one weekend without any change in routine. You can track this by using any smart device or even an app on your phone.
Once you know your current level, you can increase it from there. If you average about two thousand steps per day, increase it to four thousand, then seven thousand and finally ten thousand or even more!
Now, here are some tips for sneaking in more steps in your routine:
Rely on your step tracker.
Looking at your step tracker can be the motivation you need to get more steps in. If you see that you’ve only logged two thousand steps on a given day, you’ll begin to push yourself to do more.
As an aside, don’t become obsessed with tracking your steps and lose sight of other things. Remember that the goal is exercising for your health, walking isn’t the only thing beneficial to you.
Include walking in your commute.
If your office is close to your home, consider walking there or you can even walk your kids to school if possible. If you use public transport, you can get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
Get a walking partner.
Once you have someone to walk with and keep you accountable, you’ll be more dedicated to your goal. It can be your romantic partner or even a friend. This will also help you build social connections which are important to your mental health.
Walk during errands.
Some weekends you have some errands to run, instead of driving to every task, you can park at a central location and walk to every errand. This might take more time but it adds movement to your day which is a win for your health.
Get up from your desk.
Many of us have jobs that leave us stuck at our desks for long hours. You must try and squeeze in some steps within the day.
You can set reminders for every hour and move around every time it goes off, you can use the bathroom on another floor and you can pace around while taking calls.
Walking provides a lot of benefits to your health and it can serve as recovery from high-intensity activities helping you do some cardio while being gentle on your body.