10,000 Step Challenge

By: Nikki Nies

It’s been promoted time and time again the benefits of physical exercise.  How many of you trek to the gym with a change of clothes,  your daily hydrator [water] and tunes?  Really? Regularly?  I myself have a hard time getting to the gym, but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting exercise.  One’s legs are an undervalued commodity of the human body.

I’m so grateful for my legs.  I know how corny that sounds, but after participating in a pedometer challenge last year, I realized how active I really am.  I always opt for the stairs and I try not to park as close to the entrance of stores.  Critics may say that’s not exercise, but getting my heart rate up and with limited time, I’m creative in staying healthy.

So back to the challenge. I formed a team and we tracked how much we “stepped” daily, with the incentive to be the steppiest group.  When I started the challenge I was initially curious to see how much I move.  I was surprised to see I surpass the 10,000 step recommended daily movement.

So where does this magical 10,000 steps number come from?  It comes from a successful exploration of Japan’s common practices. You know, the profile that Japanese are naturally slim?  Part of it is genetics, part of it is their lifestyle.   If one reaches the 10,000 step marker, it’s a positive sign of the physical activity of a person.

I was lucky enough to be provided a pedometer to use for this challenge.  I’m naturally a competitive person. and I wanted to win the challenge and I found myself exercising more just to gain more steps.  Depending on the type, duration and level of exercise one does, that exercise can be calculated into how many equivalent steps it would be.  I found myself asking people to go on hikes and jogs with me.  This was a great way to take advantage of nature’s “gym” and change up my regular “bonding” with friends–eating.

Let me put it into perspective.  A sedentary person, with little physical activity will average 3000 steps.  However, a more active person can easily reach 10,000 steps, which is equivalent to 5 miles.  A pedometer is a great way to gauge how active you’ve been in a day, help you decide if you should go for an dinner  stroll–which you should always opt for.

I challenge everyone to invest a little time and join in this challenge.  There’s so many variations of pedometers, everything from $4.99 to the high tech $150 Nike pedometer.  I’m not saying go out and dish $150 for a pedometer, but the point is to see how active you are.  Make it a fun and add a copy of steps along the way!

Check out these different pedometers! What’s your ‘must have’ when choosing your next gadget?

Source: http://walking.about.com/od/measure/f/10000steps.htm

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