I want to inspire you for an easy and efficient way to keep fit. I'm sure that it doesn't surprise you that walking for weight loss is a smart fitness approach. No need to invest in any fancy equipment, exotic supplements or overpriced fitness club fees.
It is much easier…
In this challenge, I will show you how to step your way to health and fitness and automate this process easily.
The power of movement
You’ve learned about the power of being physically active already in challenge #15 as a smart approach to stop emotional eating. Instead of focusing on pleasurable or routine activities that are non-fitness related, today we tackle the idea of losing weight with walking – if this is what you aim for.
Although “walking” doesn't focus on healthy food, it is still a keystone habit that contributes to your eating behavior in a positive way. This week I especially want to motivate those of you who until now always struggled with regular aerobic exercises.
10,000 steps a day for a normal weight
Have you heard of the “10,000 steps a day campaign?” Did you know that this number is actually based on research that has been going on mainly in Japan since the mid-‘60s?
In short, this research found that if you walk 10,000 steps a day, you tend to have normal weight compared to people who average about 6,000 daily steps or so.
It's however not just about achieving your weight loss goals. By moving your body regularly, you could stimulate your vascular health in an uncomplicated way. In consequence, you improve your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. This contributes to the treatment and prevention of many chronic diseases.
…And walking workouts can be done almost anywhere.
How many steps per day are recommended?
A recommendation that is heard quite often is to accomplish at least 3,000 additional steps per day for a better health. This is equivalent to 2 – 2.5 kilometers (1.3 – 1.6 miles).
It can be done easily by taking a short walk at a brisk pace after dinner. This kind of “digestion walk” calms also the desire for sweets or other snacks in front of the TV (see challenge week #6).
Most people walk less than they believe
Many people overestimate the number of their daily activities – they think they move more than they do in reality.
Because of this, they think there’s no way their weight could be due to a lack of activity.
The fact is most people don’t walk more than 500 meters (0.3 miles) – or 800 steps per day. The remaining is done by elevators, escalators and all other means of transportation.
How using a pedometer can boost your level of activity
One important step towards walking is to determine how much activity you really have in your life. In this context, a pedometer could be a great choice. Many people realize only through tracking that they move much less than they would have expected.
High motivational boost for your daily dose of sports
Another additional advantage: If you measure your daily steps, you tend to become inspired and walk more just to avoid finding bad results in the evening. The tracking of steps is, hence, a reactive measurement. The result of the tracking is influenced by the tracking itself.
That fact is: in every case, something positive comes as you take more steps – no matter the reason – which winds up being better for your health.
If you could get into the habit of measuring your steps with a pedometer, then this alone would lead you to more movement than if you didn't measure it.
Baby steps to jumpstart your activity level through pedometer walking
So your goal for this week is to implement the simple habit of step tracking and find out just what your average number of steps a day is.
Step 1: Organize yourself a reliable pedometer.
There are many (free) pedometers available on the web in the form of apps. I use and recommend the Runtastic Pedometer Step Counter & Walking Tracker PRO. It is available for both iPhones and Android devices. The download costs just $1.99 and it is the only pedometer that works anywhere on your body. You don't need to set it up, just push a button and start your walking routine.
Download it here on your smartphone:
=> Runtastic Pedometer Step Counter & Walking Tracker PRO.
Step 2: Put on your pedometer each day and do your normal activities for a week. By the end of the week, you should know how many steps you take on average each day.
Step 3: If you stick to this tracking habit for just one week, I'm sure you will increase your steps each day automatically. The sheer fact that you are wearing a pedometer will inspire you to aim for more steps each day. As a nice side effect, you’ll improve the quality of your daily life.
After one week, you could reward yourself with a small gift. How about a handy multifunction pedometer for your pocket?
An advanced approach
Do you walk more than 10,000 steps a day? Wow, congratulations – you might just want to skip this challenge! For all others…On week 2, you increase your average daily steps found out in week 1 by 20%. This is a doable small increase.
Depending on your goal – whether it be 3,000 or 10,000 steps a day, you may want to increase your steps each week by 20% until you have reached your personal goal. For example: If you are already brisk walking 5,000 steps a day, you would need roughly 5 weeks to reach your 10,000 daily steps goal.
How do you implement more steps in your day?
Is there anything simpler than putting on a pedometer and letting it count your steps?
Let me know in the comments what your average number of steps is each day and the goal you are aiming for the long term. Please also share your tips and tricks on how to implement more steps into your day.