Take 10,000 steps daily.
By Dr. Patty Bilhartz, MD, MPH
Sounds daunting, 10,000 steps.
If you haven’t been very active recently, it truly sounds impossible. You may even need a doctor’s clearance to begin. But, that’s OK. This is a challenge. Don’t let inactivity hold you back.
Exactly how far is 10,000 steps?
Well, if we walk one mile, we have gone approximately 2,000 steps.
That means if we go 10,000 steps, we have walked about 5 miles. 5 miles daily does a lot for our health per the American Heart Association. But, we don’t have to go that far to get benefits. Even increasing our daily steps by about 2 miles (4,000 steps) provides benefits.
Here’s the likely payoff for walking daily:
- Lowered True Health Age by over 4 years. That means if you are 43, it’s as if you are 39!
- Improved depression and fatigue.
- Controlled weight and stronger bones.
- Reduced risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.
So, park your car in a more distant parking spot. Ignore the elevator and take the stairs instead. Go outside with your kids or grandkids and play. Make a game of finding ways to take more steps.
Start as slowly as you need. And, you’ll have found the major key to longevity. Move or Die!
The Experiment: Have fun and grab a pedometer to count your steps. (I use the “pedometer” on the free app “Health” on my iphone.) Get a pair of good walking shoes. See how far you normally walk daily. And, then begin to increase your steps gradually as you are able.
Silence Your Inner Critic: Your thoughts will try to convince you’re too busy, too old, too out of shape. You can wait until tomorrow, until you look better in shorts, until you’re not so tired. Step back behind those thoughts. Give them a little chuckle. And, then do the experiment anyway. You can’t believe everything you think.
Rock Our World with Your Comments: What is one way you were able to increase your steps? Write your thoughts in a personal journal, discuss with a friend or family member, or plan to share with us at our next small group meeting on Wednesday, August 17, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Parlor. We thrive and grow with your input!