Win the prize of good health when you achieve 10,000 steps on your pedometer daily!

I loved it when my dad called after walking five miles in town this past Sunday.  He informed me of how many additional steps he had taken while at church, the lumberyard, hardware store and market.  The total distance he walked was very surprising to him; he took over 10,000 steps during his day and was obviously pleased with the number displayed on his pedometer.  He knew I would be as well.

I treasure hearing information like that from my dad. He’s very health conscience and walking is a big part of his life now. He actually helped remind me to use my pedometer again, especially during my walks along the beach when I have no idea how many steps I’ve accumulated.  I used to wear my trusty pedometer during all my walks, but since I’ve been walking the same routes since 2001, I’ve pretty much memorized the step count.

My original mile and a half route consists of about 2,950 steps –  pretty close to the 3,000 steps that I calculated to equal the 1.5 miles I walk.   It’s known that an average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, so 1.5 miles equals 3,000 steps.

But I don’t just take 3,000 steps during my day.  On average I take about 2,500 steps during the morning hours while cleaning and taking care of multiple tasks, not to mention getting ready for a day of presentations and inspiring.  Then when I return from my walk in the evening, there are many other tasks to take care of.  If I go shopping, mow the yard, or any of the other multiple duties that each of us are responsible for, it adds up quick.  The health experts recommend that each of us take 10,000 steps daily, which equals 5 miles.  It’s pretty doable but you won’t know if you’re doing it unless you wear a pedometer.

What are pedometers? Pedometers are small mechanisms, about the size of a small egg, that clamp to the waistband of your pants that tell you how many steps you’ve taken.  From that, you can figure out how far you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve expended. I highly suggest that you purchase one of these units along with one for each of your family members.  They make great gifts for those “hard-to-buy-for” relatives!

Pedometers are found at most local shopping centers or any sporting goods store. They can cost only a few dollars for a simple model; there are higher priced units that can cost ten times that.  It just depends on what you are looking for.   My personal favorite is the OMRON HJ150 which costs a mere $14 but does more than most expensive models.

Once you have your pedometer, set weekly goals for yourself and increase that goal slightly each week. If you purchased a unit for each family member why not make it fun and competitive?   Hold a few contests to see who can accumulate the most steps for a 12-hour time period or “freeze” when a family member surprisingly gives the command.  Each family member stops moving immediately, checks that days steps on their pedometer – and whoever has the highest count wins.  Good health is the prize for this contest.

Always remember that physical activity, such as briskly walking, improves your health and reduces several health risks. So, start parking farther away from your destination and walk that parking lot; take the stairs instead of the elevator; walk around while talking on the phone.  At every opportunity, get moving! Strive for 10,000 steps a day and win the prize of good health!

Photo credit krissen

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