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Walking at least 10,000 steps a day


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If you walk 10,000 or more steps per day, could you tell me how you accomplish that?  Do you set out on a deliberate walk just for the sake of walking?  Do you incorporate more walking and less driving into your daily routine?  Both?  Other?  About how many minutes of walking do you think it takes to get 10,000 steps?

 

(By the way, if there has already been a thread about this topic, could you please point me to it? I didn't find one, but that doesn't mean it isn't here.)

 

I was watching a doctor give a speech on YouTube yesterday and he said that people who are sedentary most of the day but do formal exercise, even intense exercise like CrossFit, are not as healthy as those who simply walk 10,000 or more steps per day.  (He was not talking about strength or fitness or performance, just health and longevity).  Unfortunately, if his power point cited his resources at the end, that didn't make it into the YouTube video, so I don't know what study (or studies) he was referencing.  Are you familiar with any research that shows this?

 

I have a MisFit already, and it shows that I get as much as 5500 steps on a good day, and as few as 3000 on a bad day.  So I've got a lot of room for improvement!

 

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I tend to prioritise brisk walking over purely steps these days, as meandering doesn't have such clear health benefits.  However, in order to get 10,000 steps (walking) I take a brisk 40 minute walk during my lunch break and a forty-minute dog walk in the evenings.  10,000 steps is around four miles, so at three miles an hour you need about one hour and twenty minutes.

 

On other days I run.

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I can never reach 10,000 steps if I’m at home all day. Dh and I walk at an indoor gym after work and once the weather is nicer we’ll walk outside. So yes, I do have to make an effort to reach 10k.

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Thank you, that was interesting.  I definitely think there is a benefit to getting your heart rate up into that aerobic zone -- I've felt the benefits of that very clearly.  So I'm definitely not looking to replace my more intense activities with walking.  But wondering if more walking should be an additional goal.

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To get to 10,000, it either has to be a really active day (like packing to move) or I need to go on a longish walk.

 

For me, walking 10,000 steps is five miles/eight kilometers and it takes me a little under ninety minutes to do that. I have a 10k route I walk in the winter that takes about an hour and fifty minutes. But if I’m just trying to get to 10,000 including a regular day’s activity, then a three mile/five kilometer walk is good.

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My advice to people trying to get to 10,000 is... don't start by trying to get 10,000. Start by trying to get 1, 000 more than you're getting now - that's about 10 minutes of walking and can be accomplished by the "park further away" types of things. Then increase by taking deliberate walk(s) after you're consistantly above your old average.

 

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I tend to prioritise brisk walking over purely steps these days, as meandering doesn't have such clear health benefits.  However, in order to get 10,000 steps (walking) I take a brisk 40 minute walk during my lunch break and a forty-minute dog walk in the evenings.  10,000 steps is around four miles, so at three miles an hour you need about one hour and twenty minutes.

 

On other days I run.

 

 

Ah, so like the article that Kinsa posted, it's more about the intensity than the distance covered?  

 

Thank you!

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My advice to people trying to get to 10,000 is... don't start by trying to get 10,000. Start by trying to get 1, 000 more than you're getting now - that's about 10 minutes of walking and can be accomplished by the "park further away" types of things. Then increase by taking deliberate walk(s) after you're consistantly above your old average.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

 

 

What a great suggestion!

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A friend of mine walks while she talks on the phone.  A lot of friends of mine use walking workouts - Leslie Sansone or Jessica Smith (she's on youtube).  If you have a treadmill, you could use that while watching tv or just run in place or on a rebounder while doing the same.  I don't get anywhere near 10,000 steps a day without formal exercise.  

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I've rarely ever had any trouble reaching 10,000 steps a day just going about normal life -- working around the house, errands, yard work, a daily dog walk. Lazy, rainy Sundays are my biggest exceptions. That it's so easy to accomplish (at least for me) has always made me wonder if it really is any sort of magic milestone (ha!) at all.

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  • Try to sit as little as possible during the day.  Unless I am doing something that I must do sitting, I will try to stand up.  

When I am standing, I also try to move around as much as possible.  (Shuffling from side to side, marching in place, etc.)

Park as far away as possible.  (Unless it is raining! haha)

Go for a daily walk.  If the weather is bad, you can do an online walking in place workout.   A brisk 60 minute walk will usually get me 

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During the summer normal yard work and my evening 3 mile walk are more than enough. During the school year I have to be extra mindful to be sure that I walk to the grocery store plus my 3 mile walk or up my evening walk to 4 miles.

 

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On days that I do a one hour weight training class my goal is 7000 steps.  On the other days my goal is 10K steps.  I do need to make an extra effort to get that in.  I try to go for a 10 min walk before breakfast to get a good start.  I usually try to sneak in a 15-20 min walk a few times per day otherwise I have to do a longer walk.  One day per week I walk one hour with a friend and that is about 7K steps and it's easy to get 11K to 12K steps on that day.  If it's raining I have occasionally gone to a Home Depot and walked all the aisles.  

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I enjoy walking but as the article in Kinsa's link pointed out it's not about the number of steps. I try to take a brisk walk every day when the weather is nice, When it's too hot to walk (because too cold to walk is not an issue here) I do an in-home walking video. This is in addition to my regular exercise because as I said, I enjoy walking.

 

I have my smart watch monitoring my steps but not because I'm trying to reach 10K steps. I can get caught up reading or playing around on the computer and end up spending too much time being inactive. My step counter serves as a reminder to move more, and not just do some exercise then sit for the rest of the day.

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My step counter serves as a reminder to move more, and not just do some exercise then sit for the rest of the day.

 

Yes, that's exactly what I'm contemplating.  I tend to do my designated hour of exercise and then forget about it.  I think I need to incorporate more activity into the rest of my day as well.  

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My DH has a desk job, so he sits a lot. But they periodically have step competitions at work and that guy can rack up close to 20,000 steps on a work day if he really tries. Of course, his daily jog gives him a big head start. But he is really diligent about getting up every hour to walk around the building, or if he’s working from home take the dog around the block. He’ll pace while we’re watching tv, which is annoying. 😜 My top count has been 23,000 and that was a day Disney, so I’m pretty impressed with DH.

 

I find that as long as I get my morning workout in, it’s pretty easy to get 10k. Jogging my 2 mile route gets me about 3500/4000.

Edited by Sara in AZ
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Well I live on 40 acres. And I have animals to take card of. My typical day is 15k. However I do pace a lot like n the phone or even while reading or looking at this forum on my phone so that helps on rainy or snowy days when being outdoors is misery.

 

 

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I started with a more manageable goal.  I think it was 5,000.  Then I moved to 6500.  Then 7500.  The leap from 7500 to 10,000 wasn't that bad.

 

I will consciously park further away to get bonus steps.  I find going shopping, especially to a place like Sam's or Costco, is a great way to add a lot of steps painlessly.

 

My new fitness tracker will buzz/vibrate if I don't move after a certain amount of time.  When that happens, I'll usually take the dog for a walk.

Best thing was getting a dog, though.  She makes me walk, even when the weather is bad or I'm lazy. :)

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One thing for people to remember is that wrist style trackers read arm movement as steps.  So, if you are putting away dishes or folding laundry you can get a large bump in step count, but it is mostly your arms, not steps. Also tiny steps will track as steps so something like showering can rack up steps as well.  Sitting at a desk and going back and forth between pulling out files and putting them on your desk can count as steps. etc.  Bounceing a baby in your arms, even when standing still can really rack up the points. LOL  

 

Walking around a grocery store with you hands on a cart handle, or taking a walk with a baby in your arms, will not necessarily record as accurate steps. Because there is little arm movement it may not track your actual movement.  You can put the tracker in your sock (take off band) or put it in a pocket to get a better idea of distance. But you will have to check and see if this is accurate for you and your tracker as well. There are some apps that map distance traveled instead of steps that can be more accurate in these situations. 

 

It is often better for health/exercise reasons to get a consistent, purposeful walk of 5,000 steps than a myriad of 10,000 steps on a tracker just working around the house and in the yard (unless you have very large open areas like on a farm).

 

Different brands are more or less accurate, and some brands combine steps/distance.  You would have to do some step counting to compare your real number to what it says to make sure it is correct.

 

My friend used to tell me she walked 4 miles (her tracker gave steps and distance), but the trail she was walking was only 3 miles long. (Marked trail in quarter miles) She is short and walking with a dog on a leash, so it was recording her distance and steps very wrong even though she was actually walking a consistent purposeful path. 

Edited by Tap
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I got a puppy.  OK - we haven't quite hit 10,000 yet but it's been in the 9000's.  Running after her in the house while I go "nooooooo" and then rush her outside. . . .! In and out.  Up and down the deck stairs so she can potty.  I also have at least a 20 minute sustained walk a day because I want the benefits of a sustained walk as well as the short bursts throughout the day. 

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I have a MisFit already, and it shows that I get as much as 5500 steps on a good day, and as few as 3000 on a bad day.  So I've got a lot of room for improvement!

These are pretty much my numbers unless I intentionally go out for an additional walk, which I need to get better about.

 

Everyone's baseline is different. If you have a job that has you up and moving, or you live in the city, you are going to have higher numbers. For you and I, I think the only way to hit 10K is to add a walk into the daily routine (or get a job as a server :-).

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I get what I can via chores and/or school, then add what I need to at night to try to reach at least 10K.

 

I like to stay active throughout the day, so make an effort to spread out the steps when I can.  Some tips are parking pretty much as far away from stores/church as possible and walking, using stairs instead of elevators, walking during breaks (at school esp), making more trips than necessary to take things places (groceries indoors, hanging up laundry, feeding the cat, etc) and just going out for walks.  It's usually not difficult EXCEPT when I'm with either of our parents (or it's terrible weather outside).  Then I'm lucky to get into the 1000s.  My body can only take a day or two of that at best and it starts revolting on me.

 

I'm already at 8140 for today, so getting another 2K shouldn't be difficult.  It's not even noon yet.

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I walk during the day, doing normal stuff and work. If I teach two lectures and an afternoon of help sessions, I get my 10,000 steps in just by working. If I do housework, walk up and down stairs, work in the yard, that's several thousand steps. On most days, DH and I go for a 3 mile walk after dinner (or in winter during lunch break)

We also hike every weekend. If I get 25,000 steps on a weekend hike, I don't sweat that I may have done just 7,000 on a rainy weekday.

Edited by regentrude
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On school days, especia cold or wet ones, I struggle to get above 5k. I am sitting at the table working with kids for several hours. If it’s nice out we try to get a walk in at some point, but this time of year in particular that is difficult.

If we do manage to get a walk in, hitting 10k is easier.

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There is no way I can get to 10,000 without a concerted effort. I *try* to get in a daily walk in addition to normal movement, but I've been less consistent lately. It takes me at least a full hour of walking plus daily movement to maybe hit 10K. That's really sad as I sit here and re-read it....

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Both. Today I'll hit 10,000.

 

1. Walked to the gym (it's very close) and did a 20 minute treadmill workout. (Finish around 4,000)

 

2. Went to the grocery store. Purposefully walk EVERY aisle. LOL (Finish at around 6,300)

 

3. Shorter walk with the dogs this afternoon. Easily hit 10,000.

Edited by FriedClams
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I've been reading several books recently that talk about what you mentioned, Greta, that you can do an intense workout for an hour a day 3-5 times a week, but if you're sedentary the rest of the time, you're not doing much good longevity/health wise.  The books I'm reading are about just being up and about most of the time throughout the day -- not even walking.  I'm hoping a tracker will come out that counts how many minutes you're up on your feet, and how many times you move from sitting or lying down to standing, each day.  From what I understand, there are a lot of studies coming out about how just being "up and at 'em," as my dad used to say, provides wonderful health benefits. For example, one book recommended trying to go from sitting to standing 30 times a day; there's something to moving the body against gravity like that that is beneficial. (This isn't instead of Official Exercise, that can be included, too). A lot of the research is based on John Glenn's return to space as an older adult and how that affected him physically compared to his younger counterparts.  The pull of gravity on our bodies is a great thing, and the higher the head, and the less the external support (chair, bed), the better.

 

I'm really coming to believe that one of the worst health practices in our culture is sitting so much throughout the day. 

Edited by milovany
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I have been averaging about 11,000 per day for the last several months. (I was doing a little better, but I hurt my knee and have had to cut back a bit.)

 

I start each day by walking with the dog for 45-60 minutes. At my pace/stride, I find I get roughly 1,000 for every 10 minutes, so that morning walk gets me almost halfway to my daily total.

 

Once I head to work, I just try to remember to move when possible. Some days, depending on which and how many classes I am teaching, it's easy and natural; others, I have to be more intentional. Yesterday, I had hit 11,500 by noon, just because of the way my schedule worked.

 

In general, I do a lot of the things suggested already. I don't make any effort to find the closest parking spot when I go out shopping, for example. And on days when I have spent a lot of time at home on the couch, I grab the dog and go for an additional walk in the evening. Many weekends, my husband and I will prioritize activities that give us an excuse to walk -- art festival instead of movie theatre, for example.

 

I really don't find 10,000 difficult at all.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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Here's a terrible confession that I need to make:  we have three dogs, and I don't walk them regularly.  Only sporadically.  Two of the three have health conditions which limit their ability to walk, but they can still do short walks.  So even a short walk for each dog (I have to walk them separately, they are far too crazy and excited when you try to walk them together) would still add up to quite a few steps!  So I think I'll start with that.  Maybe I can walk the healthy dog every day, and alternate days with the other two, or something like that.  This time of year it would be easy to spread the walks out over the entire day.  But the summers here are long and brutal, so for much of the year, I will be limited to the early morning or late evening.  But maybe if I establish the habit now, it will be easier to keep it when it turns hot.

 

 

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I haven't tracked mine in forever, I sent back my Fitbit b/c it kept freezing up (nothing more annoying than doing a bunch of steps and not having them counted)

 

I used to hit 3-5k by breakfast (granted I generally eat 2-3 hrs after waking), just doing things around the house, picking up, sweeping, dishes, cooking breakfast etc. 

 

These days it is very variable b/c my energy is up and down.

 

On good days my general goal is not to sit down unless I'm eating until after 3. There is always something to do.

 

I've always like to walk alot but how much varies, Mostly I do little short walks and don't get very many of the longer ones, unfortunatley.

 

On bad days I don't know if I want to know!

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My friend used to tell me she walked 4 miles (her tracker gave steps and distance), but the trail she was walking was only 3 miles long. (Marked trail in quarter miles) She is short and walking with a dog on a leash, so it was recording her distance and steps very wrong even though she was actually walking a consistent purposeful path. 

 

I don't know. I used to take ds on walks when he was little, and even though the trail was one mile, I swear we walked 2 or 3 miles by the end of it. Meander off the path to look at a squirrel, backtrack to pick a dandelion, run back and forth just for the heck of it. Maybe dog-walking miles are like toddler miles and you have to use a multiplier. :)

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I've been tracking for about a year and a half. A regular day will get me about 10,000, but my goal is 15,000. I usually make it. Only got 13,000 yesterday. One trick is to pace whilst I'm on the phone. Got 2000 this morning fielding an Eagle Scout question. Off to the mailbox--that's almost 400 right then. A grocery trip is about 1000, unless I forget my list.  :lol:  I try to park in the middle of downtown and then walk to the PO, library, bank, etc. And I park on the edge of parking lots so I'm forced to walk. And you'll be glad to know that I always take my cart back!

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My friend used to tell me she walked 4 miles (her tracker gave steps and distance), but the trail she was walking was only 3 miles long. (Marked trail in quarter miles) She is short and walking with a dog on a leash, so it was recording her distance and steps very wrong even though she was actually walking a consistent purposeful path. 

 

The tracker can only count steps, not distance. She needs to input the length of her stride so the tracker can correctly convert step number into distance. The steps are still counted correctly, just the conversion to miles is incorrect, since the tracker has no way of knowing that she make short steps unless she tells it.

Edited by regentrude
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I go by time with my exercise, rather than steps. I like to get in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, and it can be pretty much anything. Some days it's walking, other days it could be an intense skate ski up lots of hills. 

 

Over the course of a life-time, I find it easier to manage a 30 minute per day block of time (or broken down into 2 or 3 blocks), rather than 10,000 of anything.  :laugh:

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I purposely bought a house within walking distance of pretty much everything. In a typical week I walk to and from: 

 

- Running club (twice a week)

- Dancing

- The library (usually twice a week) 

- The grocery store several times (It is in the same area as all the above)

 

I just got back from the Dentist, which is also walking distance. As is the orthodontist and so many other things. 

 

Now that the snow and ice is gone I'll be walking less and scootering more. :) It gets you were you are going quicker, and I find it is better at raising my heart rate. 

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My street makes a half mile loop. It works well to start the day in fresh air for a quick loop or two. If I'm short at the end of the day I can make it up.

 

I do work at a place that has me moving.

 

I have friends in the neighborhood I've told I would like to walk and vowed that I won't turn down a walking invite.

 

I park further away.

 

I move while doing chores (March while folding laundry).

Move while brushing teeth.

 

I've been trying to help my intellectually disabled DS improve his fitness, so when possible we walk together to do stuff.

 

I embrace vacuuming, because that's more steps.

 

Etc.

 

Start lower than 10k as a goal and build up.

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One thing for people to remember is that wrist style trackers read arm movement as steps.  So, if you are putting away dishes or folding laundry you can get a large bump in step count, but it is mostly your arms, not steps. Also tiny steps will track as steps so something like showering can rack up steps as well.  Sitting at a desk and going back and forth between pulling out files and putting them on your desk can count as steps. etc.  Bounceing a baby in your arms, even when standing still can really rack up the points. LOL  

 

Walking around a grocery store with you hands on a cart handle, or taking a walk with a baby in your arms, will not necessarily record as accurate steps. Because there is little arm movement it may not track your actual movement.  You can put the tracker in your sock (take off band) or put it in a pocket to get a better idea of distance. But you will have to check and see if this is accurate for you and your tracker as well. There are some apps that map distance traveled instead of steps that can be more accurate in these situations. 

 

It is often better for health/exercise reasons to get a consistent, purposeful walk of 5,000 steps than a myriad of 10,000 steps on a tracker just working around the house and in the yard (unless you have very large open areas like on a farm).

 

Different brands are more or less accurate, and some brands combine steps/distance.  You would have to do some step counting to compare your real number to what it says to make sure it is correct.

 

My friend used to tell me she walked 4 miles (her tracker gave steps and distance), but the trail she was walking was only 3 miles long. (Marked trail in quarter miles) She is short and walking with a dog on a leash, so it was recording her distance and steps very wrong even though she was actually walking a consistent purposeful path. 

 

Not all arm movements count as steps - at least as far as my Fitbit goes.  I can shake my arm up and down and nothing will register at all.  I can trick it if I do a circular movement.   I can't remember which direction, but I've experimented.  ;) 

 

When I first got my tracker I followed the instructions and counted steps and distance and calibrated my tracker to my body.  I am quite confident that it is tracking accurately at least as far as actual steps go.

 

Anything that encourages others to move more is good. 

 

My dogs don't go in a straight line. 

 

 

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I have a MisFit already, and it shows that I get as much as 5500 steps on a good day, and as few as 3000 on a bad day.  So I've got a lot of room for improvement!

 

I'm right there with your ranges.The only time I hit 10K was on a visit to the city and the museum.  We walked all day.

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I used to have my step goal as 3000 steps.  That was pushing it on bad pain days but I could do it reliably.  Then I decided that I was going to get serious about making some changes and I doubled my step goal.  That first month was MURDER.  I immediately went into really bad pain flares - as in it felt like I had a blanket or curtain of pain over my entire body.  But I "ignored" it and kept walking.  Then I got my puppy and my step goal has increased yet again.  I'm in a flare again with the new increase but not quite as bad as the first ones. 

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This year I started with 7000/day as the goal. I usually hit 5000/day without much effort, so it was a little stretch. Now I add 500 steps/day/month so I'm up to 8000/day goal for March. I usually hit 10000, but not always and I don't stress over it. And I take Sunday off. :-)

 

I joke with my kids, "First it's a goal, then it's a limit!" when I want them to run upstairs or out to the car for me after I hit my goal in a day. LOL!!!

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I'm a slow starter in the morning, but around noon I ramp up to cruising speed and generally keep moving until at least 8 p.m. Maybe I'm disorganized, but my normal Mom Work has me up and down all three stories of my house all day long.  I'm incapable of walking up and down the steps like a normal person and usually sort of jog them.  I have a disabled son, so there is a physical component to his care and I do an inordinate amount of fetching for him.  My hobbies are active.  I dance about 8 hours a week across 6 classes. Funnily enough, bellydance classes don't accurately record steps if people are isolating like they're supposed to.)  I'm an unskilled, fledgling gardener, but I put a lot of sweat into the endeavor.  I ENJOY moving and don't like the way I feel if I sit too much.  I also get energized by sunny, warm weather and ramp up the activity as the days get longer.  (I feel rather strongly that people should hibernate, so that's a bit contradictory.) 

 

I don't have a step-counter thingy, so maybe I'm delusional.  I do come from a long line of people who can't sit still and MUST be moving and doing.  My grandmother slowed down in her late 80s and is just now, at 93, behaving like a Very Old Woman.  DH's job has him in a chair looking at a computer all day and he doesn't seem emotionally damaged by this, but that would make me insane. Still, I'm positively sedentary compared to my brothers who are ALWAYS doing and moving and fixing.  They will pace if they have nothing to do.  It's maddening. 

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I don't have a step-counter thingy, so maybe I'm delusional. I do come from a long line of people who can't sit still and MUST be moving and doing.

One of my colleagues assumed that she was getting a lot of steps because she has three small children and is always on the go. Wearing a counter showed that she was averaging 5,000. It was helpful to her, and she is now getting more intentional exercise.

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I do many of the things listed.

 

On work days (I substitute teach) I try to offer to be the one to bring a student from point A to point B, do the extra running, etc. The trouble is that I teach severely multiply impaired students so very often I am pushing 2 wheelchairs at a time so the steps don't count.

 

If I.meet 10,000 steps for my day I consider myself good to go. If not, I try to walk 1 mile on the treadmill.

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We're huge HUGE fans of Katy Bowman here -- she's all about nutritious movement.  Her books, website, Instagram and Facebook provide inspiration for no longer outsourcing your movement.  "Outsourcing" includes things like using a car when you could walk.  She has young children, and includes bits about how they make movement more engaging for everyone in the family.

 

She emphasizes the same thing as the OP was mentioning -- not relegating movement to intense bursts we describe as "exercise", but simply moving more all day.  Her field of study is biomechanics, and she tends to spend time analyzing data on movement.  

 

Some ideas for walking (from her book on Dynamic Aging):

Walk to do errands.

Walk to the grocery store a few times a week and carry home smaller amounts of groceries.

If you need to drive, park a block or two away from where you're going.

Find a walking buddy or start a walking group.

When you meet with your book club or church group or any other group, take walks together.

Join a birdwatching group or your Audubon Society chapter.

Increase your mileage

Increase the frequency of your walk.

Stimulate your brain by changing your route.

Add hills.

Add various terrain.

 

Some ideas for adding other types of movement:

Don't always sit in the same chair -- mix it up between soft and hard, and with varying heights.

Sit on the floor instead of your couch or chair at least once a day.

Place your tea or coffee filters on the top shelf and the mugs way down low.

Cook with more old-fashioned implements -- knead dough yourself, use a knife or moule or potato masher instead of a food processor, use a mortar and pestle for herbs.

Create an alternate work station that allows you to stand up or sit on a pillow on the floor to write letters or pay bills. 

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One of my colleagues assumed that she was getting a lot of steps because she has three small children and is always on the go. Wearing a counter showed that she was averaging 5,000. It was helpful to her, and she is now getting more intentional exercise.

I see your point, and you could be absolutely right, but until they make one to go on my hips or legs it’s not going to reflect how much I move. During a typical drill I can be pumping my knees hard at least 350 times a minute, but isolating in such a way that everything above my rib cage is very still. These drills can last 10-20 minutes per class and that’s just the warm-up. Dancers are constantly moaning that they leave class tired and sweaty and the step count isn’t registering all of their effort. I’m guessing you could log more “steps†by knitting!

 

I wasn’t in better shape from chasing little kids. Yes, they need you constantly, but it’s not really sweaty work that raises your heart rate. You can’t even walk at a decent clip with little kids unless you can get them all into a stroller at once. I definitely have more time to do other things now that my kids are grown and the things I choose to do are active.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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