You probably already know you need to exercise to shed those last few stubborn pounds. Or maybe you have a lot of weight to lose and are just starting your weight loss routine. On the other hand, maybe you don’t have any weight to lose, but just want more energy and need to get in shape.
You say you don’t have the money or time to invest in a gym membership?
Take heart. You can burn off calories just by increasing the steps you take in a day.
How many steps do you normally walk each day? Studies show that the average adult walks approximately 10,000 steps each day.
How can you find out how many steps you normally walk daily? Invest in a cheap pedometer that you can pick up for as little as $8 at most department and sporting stores. Of course, if you want more extras, they run a little more. Still, it’s a small investment when it comes to improving your health. You’ll need to reset the pedometer, according to the length of your particular food stride. To do this take ten steps. Then measure the distance in inches and divide by 10. This gives you an approximate length of each step that you take. Then go to the reset button on your pedometer and taking a ball point pen or other sharp object, tap the button until you come to your number. For example, I measured out 180″ for my ten steps. Divided by 10, that makes my stride 18″, so I reset my pedometer at 18.
Next, be sure you have a good pair of walking shoes. I learned the hard way. Years ago, I injured my ankle because I walked in some old tennis shoes, not designed for walking.
Make sure you dress comfortably, fill up your water bottle, clip your pedometer on your walking shorts, and start walking! Where? Anywhere you can find. Your neighborhood, shopping centers, or even laps around or in your own home. That’s right, walk around or even inside your house. When I used to live in a neighborhood with non-friendly dogs, I walked around my house as I talked to my friends on my cordless phone. Then, I started walking 30 minutes a day in my house in the winter when snow and ice covered the ground. Amazingly, I kept up the habit even when winter turned into spring. When summer humidity made it uncomfortable to walk outdoors, I hit the mall and got my 30-40 minutes of walking in there.
.At night when you’re chilling out in front of the TV, walk instead. You won’t miss your favorite program, and you’ll be increasing your steps.
How many steps do you need to walk to burn calories? To burn off one pound of body fat you need to burn 3,500 calories. But, don’t try running a marathon if you have lots of weight to burn off. Especially if you haven’t walked in awhile and you’re not in shape, yet. Take it slow at first. Then, gradually build up your pace. If you lose roughly one to two pounds per week, that’s considered a healthy rate.
So what does this mean? If you want to average just a pound lost per week, then you need to burn an additional 500 calories each day. Doing the math, that’s seven days a week x 500 calories per day, for a total of 3,500 calories. Also note that walking a mile is approximately 100 calories burned, depending on your weight, age, etc.
Why not challenge yourself? There are many ways you can increase your number of steps each day. Just sitting in on Weight Watches classes I’ve learned a few ways.
*When you go to the mall, purposely park away from the stores, as far as you can. Then walk throughout the mall after you’ve done your shopping, bypassing the food courts, of course.
*Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
*Take an exercise class, doing step-aerobics
*Spend part of your lunch hour walking the hallways, or if weather permits, walk outside.
*Walk your dog each day. Not only will you burn calories, but Fido will get some needed exercise, too, and you’ll meet your neighbors.
*If you don’t like walking alone, find a walking buddy or join a group of walkers. Senior citizens usually have walking groups in their communities that walk together early in the morning.
And, don’t forget to keep records of your progress. Before long, you’ll be amazed just how many steps you do walk each day. You’ll soon bypass the 10,000 average for steps-per-day.