Get Your Steps In!
We hear from health experts that we should be reaching 10,000 steps a day for our health, but do we really understand why we should strive to reach this goal each day?
It is shown that walking is an exercise that is just as effective as running. It's easier on the joints, sustainable, enjoyable, stress-reducing, and provides many of the same benefits - especially if you are walking on an incline. Because walking is a lower impact exercise compared to running, it can be done for a longer period of time.
You may think that running is more beneficial, but when you run, and only run, then you will begin to plateau. That is why it is important to switch up your workouts. Something that I, personally, like to do is run one day and walk the next - or even run/walk simultaneously on the same day.
There are many reasons to walk for exercise but the physical and mental benefits can't be beat.
Physically, walking improves cardiac health, lowers pain levels, burns body fat, improves circulation, and reduces the risk for chronic diseases. Walking also improves your balance while strengthening your bones and muscles that build up the legs. Mentally, walking is shown to boost creativity by 60 percent, relieve symptoms of anxiety, improve one's mood and memory, and prevent the deterioration of brain tissue.
A simple way to keep track of your steps is to wear a fitness watch. Fitness watches such as Fitbit, Garmin, etc., are mostly all programmed to track a person's daily steps which make it easy to see your progress.
Here are some easy ways to get your steps in:
1. Take a walk every morning
2. Set an alarm to move
3. Park further away from your destination
4. Walk during your lunch break
5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
6. Go the long way
7. Take "moving" breaks
8. Get a treadmill desk
9. Walk a dog
10. Go on a walking date
Walking provides so many benefits - not only for your physical health, but your mental health as well. It is important that you get your daily recommended steps in to ensure that you are living up to a healthy lifestyle. Wake up 45 minutes earlier to get your walk in before work, walk to your local coffee shop in town, choose the stairs instead of the elevator.
We challenge you to get 10,000 steps a day, for 30 days. Pay attention to how much it impacts both your physical and mental health and log it! Logging your progress allows you to go back and see how far you've come. Once you feel like it is easy to get 10,000 steps a day, see if you can double it a few days out of the week. It's always healthy to set realistic goals that you can successfully reach.
Most of all, make it fun. Don't feel like you have to do it. It shouldn't be a chore. Turn on some music that makes you happy or even a podcast that you enjoy! You can even go on a walk with a friend, or to your local state park to switch up the scenery.
The benefits of walking are unlimited! Start today and have fun!
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