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Walking 5 Miles a Day? Easier Than You Think!

Off to Work: University Professorphoto © 2009 Alex Proimos | more info (via: Wylio) So you finally bought a pedometer and are all excited to use it? Well, just how many steps do you need to be accumulating a day for optimum health? Experts recommend at least 10,000 steps–or about 5 miles–a day for good health. It may sound like a lot. However, most people log about 4,000 steps a day just by doing regular activities.

For example, if you are taking out the trash or picking up things around the house, you are probably taking around 100 steps per minute. If you are walking casually with a friend, maybe shopping in a mall, you’re probably also taking 100 steps a minute.

If you are walking as exercise, here’s how to calculate the number of steps you take:

Walking purposefully (@ 3mph)= 120 steps per minute

Power walking; if you went any faster you’d be running (@4.5 mph) = 150 steps per minute

So, how do you add an additional 6,000 steps to your daily routine? It actually isn’t that hard. By taking a few short breaks a day, you can sneak them in without much more time and effort. Assuming that your daily routine already includes 4,000 general activity steps, a 10,000-step day would look something like this:

Early Morning. Set the alarm for about 10 minutes earlier than usual. Then, get outside! Start your day with a 5-minute walk around your block before you head off to work. Too cold? Head inside and take a stroll around your work building when you get there. Total: 500 steps

Mid-Morning. Going for a coffee run? Make it one outside of the office. Or, grab a co-worker or another mom if you’re at home and catch up on gossip. Walk 10 minutes around the building or block at a casual, lively pace. Total: 1,000 steps

Lunch Break. Do you only have a 1/2 hour lunch break? Perfect! Clear your head with 20 minutes of exercise. Warm up for 5 minutes (500 steps). Pick up the pace like you’re late for a bus for 10 minutes (1,350 steps), then bring it home for 5 minutes at an easy pace. (500 steps). Total: 2,350 steps Follow up with a healthy lunch that can you can eat quickly in 10 minutes. Usually we don’t advocate eating quickly, but we understand that lunch breaks are not the time to savor your food.

Mid-Afternoon. Pick up a pad and pencil. Time to multi-task! Walk down the hall or around the house for 5 minutes, marking off what you need to do for the rest of the day. Total: 500 steps

Evening After dinner. Get up after you have finished dinner and BEFORE any second helpings that you may want. Take a 15  minute walk around the neighborhood. Walk just above a strolling pace, as if you had somewhere to be. Total: 1,700 steps

GRAND TOTAL (including existing activity) = 10,050 steps

Here’s how to calculate the number of steps you take:

Basic activity (taking out trash, cleaning house) = 100 steps per minute

Walking casually but lively (like around the mall) = 100 steps per minute

Walking with purpose (@ 3mph) = 120 steps per minute

Walking briskly, like you’re late for a bus (@3.5-4 mph) = 135 steps per minute

Power walking; if you went any faster you’d be running (@4.5 mph) = 150 steps per minute, each mile walked = 2,000 steps

Still unsure how to measure? Time yourself! Walk for 20 seconds, counting your steps. Forty steps in 20 seconds is 120 steps per minute; 45 steps is 135 steps per minute; and 50 steps is 150 steps per minute.

Now, really think about this. It doesn’t seem to daunting to squeeze in five or ten minutes of walking throughout the day, does it? If I told you that you needed to get on the treadmill for an hour each day and get in those five miles, how easy would it be to make excuses not to do it? Now, you have no excuses. Break it up!

Sources: http://www.prevention.com

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