Walking is the easiest and safe and most natural form of exercise. It's an effective exercise for people of all ages and all levels of health.
Studies have shown that regular, brisk walking can lower cholesterol levels, stimulate circulation, strengthen the heart, and decrease high blood pressure.
It reduces the risk of developing serious health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis (brittle bones), and heart diseases.
Walking strengthens and tones the lower body especially when done on an inclined surface. It increases one's endurance particularly if there is a progression of difficulty. It also reduces stress and depression and increases the sense of well being.
Walking contributes to effective weight control. Numerous studies show that a person who walks 10,000 steps a day can burn 2,000-3,500 (equivalent to 1 pound of fat) extra calories a week.
For weight loss, it is now recommended to complete 10,000 - 15,000 steps a day.
Because it can seem to be a daunting task to walk 10,000 steps, it is important that you develop a strategy for meeting your daily quota. Here are three simple methods to help you reach your goals without losing focus:
Use a Pedometer
Using a pedometer can help you easily keep track of the distance you have covered throughout your day as well as the number of steps that you have taken. A pedometer is a small box-shaped calculator that you can clip to your belt or pants pocket in the same way you would wear a beeper. Your phone actually has it built in!
When placed firmly near the hip, the pedometer accurately registers each step that you take. For individuals wishing to meet their new daily quota of 10,000 steps, the pedometer is the easiest, more carefree method to reach the goal.
When shopping for a pedometer, make sure that you select a model that has both distance and well as individual step readings. You will begin to learn how many steps go into one mile. You will also be surprised by how many steps you can add to your daily count by changing small habits, such as choosing the stairs over the elevator or walking to your colleague’s desk rather than sending an email.
Calculate the Time it Takes
Using either your pedometer or a counting method, calculate the approximate time it takes for you to traverse a specific distance, such as a mile. Calculate this number several times on several different days and average the figures together. You will then be able to determine approximately how long it will take you to walk a portion of your steps if you choose to spend a set amount of time walking them off.
For example, if you know that you can walk all 10,000 steps in an hour, then you can elect to dedicate an hour everyday to walking your steps. However, if you cannot dedicate a full hour, then you can add up increments of ten minutes at a time until you reach your goal. Having a clear understanding of just what it takes to reach your goal will help you to approach the task much more strategically than if you did not have a plan. Do the calculations to save time and assure that you reach your 10,000 steps.
Measure a Route
Measure a route based on the time and distance it takes you to walk your 10,000 steps. Having a pre-planned route will help you to view the task of walking 10,000 in a more manageable light. You will be able to measure your progress along your day and have a system for achieving your goals.
Because taking the same path every day may become tedious, plan two or three routes. Plan a long route for days when you have a plethora of energy, a short route for days when you are tired, and a mid-length route for days when you are energized but busy. Giving yourself plenty of options is important to help you stay positive so that you can achieve your goal.