Part of living your healthiest life is literally putting one foot in front of the other… again and again and again.
We’ve all seen the headlines blaring – that sitting is the new smoking. But before you throw out every chair in your house (and office), it’s important to remember that it’s more about the lack of movement than the act of sitting in a chair that’s not good for your body.
That said, sitting for extended periods of time isn’t great even for people who exercise regularly: According to 2015 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, constant sitting — during your commute, at your desk, or on the couch— may blunt the positive effects of your workouts (1).
That’s partially because long bouts of inactivity inhibit the flow of blood and nutrients to your muscles between exercise sessions.
But, Do you really need to take 10,000 steps a day?
“There’s nothing magical about the 10,000 number,” Dr. Campbell says. “The number came from pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s. They were marketed under the name ‘manpo-kei,’ which translates to ‘10,000-steps meter.’ The 10,000 step count then just kind of caught on since then.”
However, performing regular movement — taking more steps than you did last week or last month — is a great goal. So how can you possibly add that many steps to your day?
Here’s 10 easy ways to make it happen!
10 EASY WAYS TO TAKE MORE STEPS
- Take the stairs.At work, at the mall, at the train station, anywhere. If you wear a fitness tracker, you’ll score both steps and flights.
- Take a moving break.During your lunch break, go on a 15-minute walk around the block. Not only will you get your steps in, but you may feel more focused at work. And remember to get up frequently during the day, not just at lunch.
- Get a treadmill desk.Check with your company to see if they provide treadmill desks (yes, it’s a thing) for employees. Walking while you’re typing takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.
- Park far away. Every couple of hundred steps walking to or from your car adds up quickly. Plus, if you park at the back of the parking lot, you’ll help save your car from dings and dents.
- Take the long way. When you’re at work and need to go to the restroom, skip the closest one and take a detour. Hit the stairs and use one on a different floor, or just take the longest route there. The same goes for doing errands (on foot) or strolling to a friend’s house.
- Take a post-meal walk.Put your shoes on after you put down your fork. Taking a 15-minute walk after dinner can help you digest your meal faster, too.
- Play with your kids. Hide and seek can take a lot of steps!
- Drink up. All of those trips to the water cooler at work—and the restroom—will make a big dent in your day’s step total.
- Go on a walking date.It’s a kind of a throwback, but there’s something charming about taking a stroll, especially a sunset one, with your S.O. (If it’s a first-date-gone-wrong, then you can keep walking — away.)
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Author: Dawn Palacios, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian
- https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2091327/sedentary-time-its-association-risk-disease-incidence-mortality-hospitalization-adults?doi=10.7326%2fM14-1651 Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Aviroop Biswas, BSc; Paul I. Oh, MD, MSc; Guy E. Faulkner, PhD; Ravi R. Bajaj, MD; Michael A. Silver, BSc; Marc S. Mitchell, MSc; David A. Alter, MD, PhD