How to Walk 20,000 Steps a Day!

Sitting at a desk all day, every day could literally be killing you. Studies show that people with a sedentary lifestyle have a higher chance of being affected by heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and other life altering ailments or diseases.

There IS something you can do! Set a goal to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. This low impact form of exercise results in reduced blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke and improves your heart and lung health. It also helps by increasing the strength of your muscles and improves your balance. The best thing about walking is that you can do it at your own pace and almost anyone can do it!

1. First, we recommend purchasing a pedometer or your cell phone offers a wide variety of fitness apps like My Weight Loss or iSteps. Research user ratings to find the best fit for your lifestyle. Some even offer calorie counting help.

2. Start small, but start! If, on the first day, all you can do is 5,000 steps, congratulate yourself. That is 5,000 more steps than yesterday! Work up to the number of steps that feel good for you. Remember, a person is considered to have an “active” lifestyle at 10,000 steps a day.

3. At work or at home, take a “walk” every hour or so. This might include walking in place while you are on the phone with a customer, walking around your house a few times or walking in place. Anything that gets you up and moving adds steps to your goal. You might also consider joining a walking club through a church or local fitness organization since some people need this interaction to hold themselves accountable to staying on track.

4. Get everyone involved. Ask co-workers, relatives, kids or your neighbors to join you or take your dog for a walk. If you walk outdoors, make sure you have layers and weather appropriate attire, as well as water. Also, make sure you are fitted for a good pair of walking shoes to ensure proper foot health.

5. Having trouble finding the time? Consider getting up a few minutes early and walking in place, or around your house for 5, 10 or 15 minutes.  Walk during a break or at lunch. Instead of taking an elevator, walk. Instead of calling someone, walk if possible. Keep a reminder on your phone to get up and move around.

Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regiment. As with anything new, you will most likely feel some sore muscles in areas of your body that have not been used in a while. That soreness should go away and you will find yourself with more energy within a week or two. A time goes on, you will be able to take more steps, in a faster amount of time and without being winded.

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