The 10K Step Craze: Sneaking Thousands of Strides into Your Day.
Remember those old-school pedometers, the kind you clipped onto your belt back in the day? If so, you may recall strapping one of these ancient clicker-type devices onto your hip and it calculated the number of steps taken during each and every day. Perhaps it was used to track the distance you traveled during a hike or other outdoor trek, but times have changed.
Fast forward to the twenty-first century. Given today’s modern technology and all the newest devices that are now offering advanced options when it comes to monitoring more than just the number of steps we take every day. These gadgets offer stats on the progress we’re making during our workout routine, heart rate, blood pressure readings and other issues when it comes to maintaining our health. They also track our weight (loss or gain), sleeping habits, daily calorie intake and a myriad of other entries and involvement in our daily lives.
Most of these high-tech devices are centered around becoming more active in our daily lives, getting enough exercise, eating better, living a longer and healthier lifestyle. With the advent of these wearable devices (Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit), these gadgets track more than how many steps we take on an average day when compared with our daily exercise and dietary regimens.
DISTANCE, CALORIES & WEIGHT LOSS
While many users of these popular wearable devices will set common goals, like taking 10,000 steps per day to achieve better overall fitness results and weight control, some loftier enthusiasts are looking to achieve 15, 20 or even 25 thousand strides in a twenty-four-hour period. Compare this to an average of more sedentary or “normal” individuals who only clock in around one to three thousand steps on any given day. But how many calories are being burned when it comes to a figure like 10K strides in a single day?
According to some sources, striding the equivalent of 10,000 daily steps within a week can burn up to 3,500 calories within this time frame. This can represent shedding of a pound of weight or dropping sixteen ounces of fat weekly. Obviously lifestyle choices such as what we consume daily on a dietary level, how much we exercise and our varied daily workout routines can influence these figures. Still, increasing or committing to the total number of steps taken daily will undoubtedly have a positive effect on our overall fitness and health.
STEP UP & GETTING MORE
The concept of walking 10,000 steps every single day of our lives is daunting, to say the least. This distance is the equivalent of strutting almost five miles per day. Looking at the average stride of an adult walking between two and two-and-a-half feet without a scheduled walk or hike, it’s interesting to think about how we can sneak more steps in this distance and expand our total daily walking.
Other than obvious ways like using the stairs instead of riding in elevators and using escalators, here are ten ways that we can get more steps into our daily routine:
- Getting From Point A to B: Instead of using the most direct route available in travelling from one location to the next, think of traversing the longest possible distance from reaching your destination by going far beyond that point and circling back.
- Walking Phone Conversations: With the advent of smartphones, telephone headsets and other gadgets, these conversations are no longer chained to a desk or other sedentary location. Whenever you’re receiving an incoming phone call or involved in an outgoing discussion, make it a regular to practice to walk around during these occurrences. Not only will it increase your step count, the process of being mobile will increase blood flow, circulation and ultimately lead to better thoughts and ideas.
- Utilizing Modern Technology and Timers: The majority of office workers seem chained to their desks for eight or more hours each day, so often people forget to move around during their daily duties. Use your smartphone, ask Siri for help or use other methods that remind you to get up and become more mobile throughout this type of sedentary work day.
- Take Ellen’s Advice and Dance Daily: One of America’s favorite talk-show hostesses has gained over a decade of popularity partly due to her love of a daily dance with her live, studio audience. In this active light, take time out daily to reduce your stress levels and increase your steps by moving to the groove of your favorite musical melodies.
- Changing Traditional Transportation Routines: While walking or biking to work may not be an option for some, simply due to the distance involved, there’s still some ways to use the hassle of commuting to enhance our daily steps. For example, if you ride the train to your work, consider getting off a stop or two early and walking the rest. If you’re driving, park as far away from the entrance as possible, which is often encouraged or required by many employers.
- Family Friendly Factors: With the obesity epidemic that’s affecting a growing number of children in our country today, parents need to be creative when it comes to getting kids to become more active. Whether it’s playing hide-and-seek, taking daily walks or participating in more daily outdoor activities with our children, these practices will not only help bond better with our beloved young ones, but also get them off the couch and increase your daily step count.
- Physical Perks of Being a Pet Owner: Perhaps one of the best benefits of having a dog is the necessity of a daily walk. Instead of letting them out the back door for a series of daily relief duties, consider taking them on at least one (or more) walks on a daily basis. The majority of our four-legged friends look forward to this outside activity while their owners reap the physical rewards from the regular practice.
- Using Everyday Activities as an Excuse for More Movement: Think of an average, everyday (or weekly) chore and use it as a way for further movement and walking. For example, a common chore like taking out the trash can easily be expanded into other reasons (or excuses) for taking more steps. Instead of simply taking the garbage to an outside container or taking the refuse container to the curb on a weekly level, make this task an opportunity for a much lengthier excursion. After taking out the trash, use this routine to go for a walk around the block for instance.
- Come Together With Friends and Family: Things like New Year’s resolutions and fitness goals are often overlooked or can become quickly forgotten due to a lack of enthusiasm, intent or planning. But by inviting the participation of friends, family members, even inviting casual acquaintances or strangers to become participants in a regular exercise program or walking regime will boost the chances of ultimate success in these types of endeavors. While some of us may blow off sticking to a proposed routine, when other people are involved in the program, more of us will engage in these activities because they fear the possibility of disappointing others that are involved.
- Goals, Communication and Commitment: Hitchhiking a bit on the last point, setting realistic and obtainable goals and communicating these with other participants will also increase our ability to achieve the level of success that we desire. With a sense of camaraderie, having a competitive nature and good communication are all important motivations used to reach our fitness goals.