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3 Tips for Walking 10,000 Steps Per Day

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A cardio training routine that can be done almost anywhere is walking. All you need are a good pair of walking shoes and something that measures the number of steps taken. Devices that measure steps vary from simple pedometers, to the new fitness trackers/watches that measure much more than just steps.

While you can set your own goal as far as the number of steps you want to take in a day, many of the fitness experts recommend 10,000. This goal is also endorsed by the American Heart Association and Center for Disease Control as an easy method to keep you fit and healthy. However, you may be thinking how will I find time to get in that many steps.

The good news is just a few small changes to your daily routine can account for many of these steps like:

1) Walking in to work

Instead of parking close to the door where you work, park at the far end of the lot and walk in. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two before your normal stop and walk in the rest of the way.

2) Taking the stairs

Once inside take the stairs (at least for a few flights) instead of the elevator. It will be less crowed and in some cases, it will get you to your desk sooner. And because you are taking steps up, it uses different muscles that level surface walking.

3) Walking during lunch

Another “trick” used by many goal-oriented steppers is to take a walk during your lunch break and leave just enough time at the end to eat the healthy lunch you brought from home.

And don’t forget you’ll do the same process over again after work and get in the same number of steps again. You can make up any difference by either hitting the gym, or just taking a walk after dinner. You’ll be surprised at the number of steps these three small changes will make in to getting you closer to your daily goal.

Some fitness trackers can help “remind” you if you are not getting in your required number of steps. By setting the number of hours you want it to measure steps and your goal, it will break down your goal by the number of hours monitored. If you don’t reach that hourly goal, it notifies you to get going. Just having that constant reminder can be the coaxing many people need to succeed at hitting their daily goal.

If you have not used walking as a cardio exercise before, start slow. Maybe 5,000 steps would be a good starting point and as you get stronger, you can bump your goal to 7,500 and finally 10,000 steps per day.

Also, don’t get discouraged if you don’t make goal every day. Things happen, life gets in the way, etc. and you may not get your steps in. Treat that day as an anomaly and make tomorrow a new day. Keep going; don’t let an occasional bump in the road stall your progress.

Finally, remind yourself why you are walking. It could be to get healthy, lose weight, improve your quality of life, or just be a good role model for your children. Regardless, you have a mission of 10,000 steps per day that gets you closer to your reason for walking.

Does Wearable Fitness Technology Really Help You Reach Your Goals?

Fitness technology, like fitness trackers, can help you reach your goals, such as getting fit and healthy or losing weight – provided your goal is realistic and attainable. The devices today can measure steps, monitor heart rate, estimate calories consumed and burned, monitor exercise activity as well as your sleep patterns.

They usually come in two different types. One type gives you information from a digital display right on the device, while others may give you a few lights representing how close you are to your step goal for that day, but require an app on your smartphone to drill down into the specifics. FitBit, Jawbone, Nike and Garmin are leaders in the industry with each company offering several models that vary as far as what they monitor.

But just the act of wearing a device on your wrist alone will not get you to goal. Some people are misled in thinking this, however, all fitness trackers do is to increase your awareness of your activity (or lack thereof) during the day or how well you sleep at night. How you use that information is what helps you make progress toward your goal.

For example, you may have a goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, but without a device to measure how many steps you take, you don’t really know how close you are to your daily goal. A fitness tracker will not only keep track of those steps, but some, like the new FitBit Flex 2, breaks down your goal by the number of hours you want it to track in a day and vibrates if you have not met that intermediate goal of a certain number of steps for that hour. That reminder helps make you aware that you are not meeting your hourly goal and need to get in more steps.

If you use the calorie counter feature that many fitness trackers have, you can see how many calories you are consuming in a day; most of them automatically track how many calories you are burning. Most people underestimate how many calories they consume and have no idea how many they burn; consuming more than you burn leads to weight gain; burning the same as consumed keeps you weighing the same; burning more than consumed leads to weight loss.

Sleep monitoring is an important feature also. When asleep, your body uses this time to repair the microtears in muscle caused from exercising. In doing so, the muscle becomes bigger and stronger. Not getting enough sleep interrupts this healing process, thus hindering reaching a fitness goal of building more muscle.

Not getting enough sleep can also hinder weight loss progress by affecting two hormones that tell you when you are full and when it is time to eat. When sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin which in turn makes you hungry.  It also makes less of the hormone leptin, which tells you when you are full. Because of these two hormonal imbalances caused by getting too little sleep, it leads to overeating.

While the act itself of wearing a fitness tracker will not help you reach your goal, committing to using the information it provides to make changes and adjustments to your exercise and eating habits will get you on the road toward your goal. Knowledge is power. With the data at your fingertips, you can make smarter changes and reach your goal.

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