Published in Australian Lifestyle and Fitness
With supposedly summer here, the thought of losing our hibernation gear of baggy jumpers, trackies and big rugs may be joy for some, yet terror for others. Now is the time to prepare for the warmer months to reveal a stunning new you! How? By stepping it up! Get yourself the latest gadget-a * pedometer! There are many different types of pedometers out there on the market. Get one that suits your needs. All pedometers work out how many steps you have taken and the distance you have travelled. Many others have additional functions, such as calorie expenditure, time, stop-watch etc…..Most importantly; they offer motivation and set goals for you. Next time you are out on your usual walk, you might find yourself eager to beat your last steps or more eager to walk to the shops instead of taking the car, take the steps instead of the lift, get of one tram stop earlier and walk a little more, just to up your steps. It is a fantastic way to measure your incidental activity you accumulate throughout the day. Up for a challenge? Work places around the world are participating in team challenges to find out which team has the most points. There is no reason why you can’t start something at your work-even make it a fundraiser for a good cause! If not at work, get a group of your friends together, mothers group or your family! All it takes is a pedometer and two fast feet. Set yourself individual goal-daily ones to begin with and working up to weekly steps.
10, 000 steps a day is the current recommendation to benefit from exercise.
Once you have mastered that, set yourself a new goal by adding time to your walk or increase the speed or adding some extra incidental exercise to your day. It all adds up! You may think that incidental exercise goes unnoticed, however, it all counts! The majority of your steps will come from your main training session, but don’t underestimate the little activities. Here are some suggestions to increase your incidental every day activities:
- At work: Say goodbye the lift and hello to the stairs; get out of your seat and personally give people a message rather than sending an email; what are you doing for lunch? Take a quick stroll around the block-the fresh air and sunlight will do you good; use the bathroom that is furthest away from your desk, instead of the closer one; ask your colleague to have a walking meeting as oppose to a sit down meeting; get off a few stops before your work/home and walk the rest.
- At home: Walk to the shops, letter box instead of driving, use the stairs in your house as often as possible, jam up your housework with your favourite music.
- Shopping: Always use the stairs instead of the lift or elevator stairs, if no stairs are there then walk up the elevator stairs, park your car in the furthest car park so you have to walk further to the main entrance, walk through as many isles as possible, even though there is nothing you need in some of them.
* A pedometer is a device, usually portable and electronic or electromechanical, that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the person’s hips. Because the distance of each person’s step varies, an informal calibration, performed by the user, is required if presentation of the distance covered in a unit of length (such as in kilometres or miles) is desired.
Used originally by sports and physical fitness enthusiasts, pedometers are now becoming popular as an everyday exercise measurer and motivator. Often worn on the belt and kept on all day, it can record how many steps the wearer has walked that day, and thus the kilometres or miles (distance = number of steps × step length). Some pedometers will also erroneously record movements other than walking, such as bending to tie one’s shoes, or road bumps incurred while riding a vehicle, though the most advanced devices record fewer of these ‘false steps’. Step counters can give encouragement to compete with oneself in getting fit and losing weight. A total of 10,000 steps per day, equivalent to 5 miles (8.0 km), is recommended by some to be the benchmark for an active lifestyle, although this point is debated among experts.Step counters are being integrated into an increasing number of portable consumer electronic devices such as music players and mobile phones.
Walking is believed to be the most ancient type of exercise
but it is also the best modern exercise.
Everyone can do it! Everyone can improve their activity level.