Saturday, 12 January 2008

If you see me walking down the street

Yesterday, my pedometer told me I did 28020 steps - I'm pretty happy with that. This was achieved by walking all around London for a fair few hours chatting with a friend-yes us girlies can talk!
Now my pedometer might not be one of best ones out there and there most probably will have been a few hundred "fake steps" involved whilst bending over to tie my shoelace or lifting my hot chocolate cup but on the whole, I'm finding it to be a useful way to motivate myself to keep fit. I have attached it to my clothes already this morning and by the end of the day, I'll have a good measure of whether I got enough movement into my day.

The NHS have also backed the use of pedometers after a systematic review saying it
"provides evidence for the effectiveness of pedometers as one of the few interventions proven as a motivational tool to improve activity levels."

So how many steps do you need to take to be staying healthy?

Well 10,000 steps a day seems to be the standard response but this of course isn't always possible for everyone. The Walking Site suggests the following:
"A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Example: If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4000 each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks."

Keeping a diary of how many steps you have managed in a day might help you get an idea of where you are at with your daily exercise - you might be surprised!

Here are some ideas for slipping in more walking:

Take the stairs instead of a lift-this is such a nice easy one to slip in
Park the car further away from the door of the supermarket
Walk the dog
Walk to your local shop (if you have one) instead of always going to the supermarket.

Basically anything that gets you walking those few extra steps, just like the change in your change jar, it'll add up.

Having a pair of shoes that are easy to walk in is also a good start.

Here are some more links to the use of pedometers:

Pedometer users walk farther, get healthier. San Francisco Chronicle, November 21 2007

It pays to count, pedometer study finds. Reuters, November 21 2007

Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health. The journal of the American Medical Association

How many pedometer steps per day are enough? Wendy Bumgardner

Happy walking!

Yours step by step,

The Foot

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