Comment: 10,000 steps a day

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In post: The Walker

Michael Nystrom's picture

10,000 steps a day

I got a "wearable device" for Christmas. I didn't really realize it was a "wearable device" though until I read this article in Wired about how "wearable devices" are going to be as big as the smart phone. There was a picture of the device I got, which is called a "Fitbit One," in the article.

What it does is count your steps, count how many flights of stairs you climb, how much distance you cover, and how many calories you burn in a day. It is also supposed to monitor your sleep, though I have yet to use it in that capacity. It has a bluetooth connection to both your phone and computer, and will download your data automatically so you can see a log of your activity over time.

This is what it looks like:

Fitbit One

Right at the end of my trip to Taiwan, I picked up a book called Eat, Move, Sleep that talked about the importance of physical activity, especially walking, and noted that by just having a device such as that, that counts your steps, automatically leads to you increasing the number of steps you take. Just by having it and monitoring yourself.

I found that to be true. You're not really trying, but it becomes like a game, to increase your steps in little ways: Park at the back of the supermarket parking lot; Take the long way through the store. I live in a hilly area, and I used to not be fond of the hills. Now I am because it ups my stairway count. I don't mind walking longer distances - distances that I used to drive - because I know it is increasing my step count.

I also checked out this book from the library: 10,000 Steps a Day to Your Optimal Weight: Walk Your Way to Better Health .

10,000 steps seems to be the agreed upon optimal, which is not really that hard to do. For me it means taking a walk to the grocery store that is about a 20 minute walk from my house. On days that I don't need to go to the store, I can walk my errands to the bank, the library, the post office, and/or the coffee shop. (I'm lucky that I live in a walkable area.)

So 20 minutes to the store (up the hill, then down the hill), 20 minutes walking around the store, shopping & checking out, and then 20 minutes back home (up the hill and then back down) is a decent midday workout for me.

This is a primary change I made at the beginning of the year, along with giving up wheat, and without really trying I lost 5.5 lbs in the month of January.

(I have since discovered that the cafe I like now serves gluten free cookies, which is presenting a problem, lol).

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