and when I don’t, I don’t sweat it, either
Like you, I work during the week. As hard as I try, sometimes I look at my Fitbit at the end of the day and shake my head. Where did the day go? I meant to walk ‘later’ all day long. Now, it IS later, and my tracker only reads 4,276 steps. Yikes.
Sure, I still plan to walk after dinner, but it’s already 8pm, and there’s no way I’m going to get in the 5k necessary to hit my full 10k stride!
I’ve been there so many times that it became demotivating. I was ready to leave my Fitbit on the nightstand and pretend it didn’t exist rather than disappoint myself over and over again.
Enter the average
I’m not saying you’re average. I’m certainly not.
In fact, if you’re reading this (much less writing it), you’re way above average! 😉
You’re here to make changes, get fitter, and stay healthy!
Do the math
Most doctors and organizations recommend people get 10,000 steps per day, but the fact of the matter is that those who were studied didn’t get 10k each day! It was an average and on average.
The people were averaged, the days were averaged, and the steps were averaged. …and as I pointed out earlier, you’re not average!
Take that 10,000 and multiply it by the seven days of the week. You now have 70,000 steps to get in throughout your week.
Look at your ‘days off’ and plan a few longer walks – I like the weekends, when I lead walks and hikes for local clients, friends, and families.
Weekends are also a good time to walk to places, whether it’s to coffee, the park, the market, church, etc.
Weekends are also a great time to hit the farmers market or the mall (yes, those steps count).
Look at your schedule and try to anticipate the days when longer walks will be tougher – A day of meetings at work? A drive to a remote office? A plane ride? School?
On these days, try to schedule shorter walks when you will have the time. Make walks part of your day. Walk to lunch, rather than drive. Invite your coworkers to have a walking meeting. Meeting other moms? Get your coffee to go and walk while you talk. Get up early and take a walk before you shower and shave for work. Take that dog for an actual walk instead of merely letting him do his business.
Look at today – Yes, today. Even more important than getting in 10k today or 70k over the week is getting up and moving around throughout your day, even if it’s for a few minutes.
Studies are pretty clear that walking around for just five minutes every thirty minutes helps to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s big, too. A 20% improvement by just walking (not exercising) for 5 minutes every 30!
Get up from the computer and walk around. Get coffee, take the dog outside, vacuum, water the plants, or just take a lap around the block and get a little vitamin D!
Most people sit for hours and hours to keep things more efficient, but you’re actually 5 minute breaks for greater productivity!
Here’s your plan
- Steps per week vs merely steps per day (Take your daily goal and multiply it by 7, plan your longer days to make up for your busier days).
- Look for opportunities to walk, both short and long (shopping, dogs, hikes, parks, and coffee talks).
- Plan your walking week like you plan your work week (at least until you get the habit down pat).
- Take your five minute breaks every thirty minutes. Just 5 every 30!
Let me know how it goes!