Thursday, February 12, 2015 by: Mike Bundrant
(NaturalNews) How active is your lifestyle, and is there a reliable way for you to measure it?
One method is to count steps using a pedometer. If you research[PDF] step counting, you’ll soon find that lifestyle activity levels are generally categorized as follows:
• Less than 5,000 steps per day may be used as a “sedentary lifestyle index.”
• 5,000-7,499 steps per day is considered “low active.”
• 7,500-9,999 steps per day is considered “somewhat active.”
• 10,000 steps per day classifies individuals as “active.”
• 12,500 steps per day is classified as “highly active.”
I won’t argue the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle or the benefits of an active one here. You already know that — and they’ve been well documented.
Here’s my challenge to you:
If you believe that you lead an active lifestyle, then back up that belief with data. Strap on your pedometer and discover whether or not an average day delivers a minimum of 10,000 steps, which is the rough equivalent of five miles.
I was shocked to discover that my self-proclaimed active lifestyle actually consisted of around 3,000 steps a day. So, over a period of two weeks, and with help from the Punch Failure in the Face community, I cranked it up to a steady 15,000 steps per day.
So, break out your pedometer and use some of the following methods of increasing your step count:
1. Don’t just stand there. Pace!
When your goal is to keep moving, keep moving. When you’re standing around waiting, just start pacing. Since I set my goal of 15K steps per day, I rarely stay still for very long. I used to sit or stand in the kitchen, talking to my wife. Now, I pace back and forth or do circles around the kitchen island. This results in several hundred additional steps.
2. If you can’t pace, walk in place.
This is a good one for looking like you desperately need to go to the bathroom while you are standing in line at the grocery store. March in place. It keeps your blood pumping and increases your step count.
3. Park at the back of the parking lot, or down the street.
Once you get into step counting, you’ll find yourself looking for every opportunity to walk more, Parking lots are great for increasing step counts. And you’ll rarely have to engage in battle with other drivers for the place near the front of the store.
4. Get a treadmill desk.
This is my personal favorite. I was so committed to increasing my step count that I bought a treadmill desk. Getting super high step counts is now an integrated part of my work day. Highly recommended.
5. Systematize it.
If you sit at work, just break down each hour to include some walking time. Work for 30 minutes, walk for five. Repeat. Bonus: You’ll focus more during those 30 minutes.
6. Get totally inefficient.
For example, when I clean up the house, I take one thing upstairs at a time. Normally, I’d gather everything I need to make just one trip. Now, I am looking for excuses to walk up and down the stairs.
7. Get a step buddy.
My wife and I also agreed to take a 30-minute walk every evening. We hold each other accountable and rarely miss. Find a walking buddy!
8. Publicize your goal.
I tell everyone I can about my step goals. I want to create a little pressure and some support for my efforts. This is where the Punch Failure in the Face group came in handy. It’s free. People post their daily goals, get support and use a nifty little system for eliminating excuses and self-sabotage during the day. Join us.
9. Set a reminder alarm.
Set a reminder to go off once an hour. Require yourself to get up and move for a few minutes when it goes off. You’ll add hundreds of steps per day.
10. Take your calls where you can walk.
On the phone? Don’t just sit there. Walk and talk.
11. Walk your dog.
Dogs need to be walked for their physical and mental health. Get in some steps and do your furry friend a big favor as well.
12. Mix it up at the grocery store.
When you get to the grocery store, be inefficient when selecting your items. It will take more time, but you’ll be improving your step count and your health while you trek from one side of the store to the other and back.
13. Use a far-away bathroom.
Don’t use the nearest bathroom. Use the one you have to walk farther to get to. Use the one upstairs, downstairs or down the street.
14. Walk while waiting for your kids.
Don’t hang out in lobbies waiting for your kid’s dance lesson to end. Go outside and walk around the block. Get in a few hundred steps.
15. Get off the bus one stop early.
If you take public transportation, make it a little less convenient for yourself. You’ll have to walk more, which is the point!
16. Walk in place while brushing your teeth.
Brushing your teeth for two minutes could become an opportunity to put in 200 steps.
17. Walk around the block before you get the mail.
When you think about it, almost every task can be turned into an opportunity to walk more.
18. Hold a walking meeting.
Ditch the conference room and hold a walking meeting outside. Movement and fresh air might stimulate more creativity and actually make meetings more interesting.
19. Ditch the waiting room.
Do you like sitting in waiting rooms staring at your phone? Take a stroll instead.
20. Punch failure in the face.
Whatever you do, be sure to punch failure in the face. Where is failure hiding? Behind your excuses.
Increasing your step count is a simple way to improve your health over time. It’s not a panacea. It’s not a substitute for proper nutrition or other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Increasing your step count can be one important element of your overall wellness.
Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and a regular contributor to NaturalNews.com.
About the author:
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