Monday, July 30, 2007

I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more. Pedometers and walking 10,000 steps per day

Walking is easy. Almost everyone can do it. The problem is that most people don't. As technology advances, society becomes more sedentary and daily walking, or motion in general decreases. When activity decreases, weight increases. It's science and part of The Law of Thermodynamics; calories in versus calories out. By walking 10,000 steps a day anyone can easily fight the battle of the bulge. And win.

The word mile derives from the Latin word for thousand, because it was the distance the average Roman soldier covered while walking 1,000 paces. A pace is two steps, one with each foot, so for the average person 2,000 steps is a mile. That makes 10,000 steps about 5 miles for most people.

The Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research has conducted research on how much exercise we need for optimum health and fitness for over four decades. They find that 10,000 steps a day is enough beyond what the average sedentary person takes to meet the surgeon general's recommendation of 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity. A person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2,000 and 3,500 extra calories per week.

In the January 2004 issue of Sports Medicine, Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke classifies people taking less than 5000 steps a day as sedentary. Taking 5,000 to 7,500 steps a day is typical for people with no sports activities and is classified as low active. Taking 7,500 to 10,000 steps a day requires some walking, either on the job or in an exercise program, and is considered somewhat active. Dr. Tudor-Locke classifies those taking more than 10,000 steps a day as active.

Steps Per Day
Activity Level
5,000 - 7,499
low active
7,500 - 9,999
somewhat active
highly active

Now you know how many steps to take, it's just a matter of counting them. There are many gadgets out there to help you out. Pedometers are fairly inexpensive and you can find them in almost any sports equipment store. My personal favorites are the shoe pedometer and the Nike Sports Kit.

You can increase the amount of steps you take very simply. You can always park at the end of the paring lot, take the stairs rather than the escalator or even taking an after dinner stroll in the neighborhood. The first thing to keep in mind is to keep moving. You can't fail.

1 comment:

Jake Silver said...

For a while I was wearing a pedometer out of curiousity and I had taken about 2000 steps before I even LEFT THE HOUSE in the morning. (this did not count a boke ride in the AM as well). I don't understand how anyone could NOT take 10,000 steps in the course of a day. How do you just stay put in one place?