10,000 steps a day… a figure that seems impossible. And why do we need to walk? Why do we need to flex our muscles daily? The joints in our body should be maintained with movement. Without movement, our joints, bones and muscles become weaker. If we want to have a healthy life, we need to move.
10,000 steps a day … maybe the answer to our health problems. How would you suppose to do this? Well, we need to take the first step. The first of the 10,000 steps may be too far to reach.
But when I took that first step, I know that I would be starting the journey to a healthier life. Becoming physically, mentally and emotionally fit is the benefit of day-to-day walking.
Walking 10,000 steps a day would ensure a longer and a happier life. So let’s learn what we need to do to move forward on this endeavor.
Getting into the daily walking habit:
1. Aim with a daily goal
Ten thousand steps a day should not be your first-day goal. You need to let your body adjust to your regular walking, until when you feel that 10,000 is no longer a far fetch goal. But you should constantly challenge yourself to walk an extra mile. Let your body feel and adjust to the daily tension when you add more steps to your regular walking. It would give you a more determined goal. And ensure that you would keep on walking.
2. Track your daily walks
You need to track your daily steps. Knowing how much you walk will keep you motivated. Try installing a digital app to your mobile phone or have a small notebook to keep your daily walking.
On the app or notebook, set your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Let your daily results inspire you to reach the 10,000 steps.
3. Always remind yourself to walk
Having a constant reminder to walk every day would also help us reach our goal of 10,000 steps. Post-its, alarms, apps, calendars, digital watch, day runners, you name it, remind yourself to walk. Having a reminder in our goals will surely motivate us, if not then, challenge us.
You need not do this in one stride or one full walk. You just have to be reminded that you need to walk a couple of hundred steps to reach your daily goal.
If you need to complete a chore or a task at home or work, don’t take the easy route. Do not use the elevator at your office if just two or three floors down or up. And if it’s only within a mile or two in the neighborhood, take a walk.
4. Get yourself a comfortable pair of shoes
So if you will do this regularly and add to the daily rigors of your life, you need to have a pair of good sneakers. Find one that is comfortable to you, not only when you just tried it on. Walk on it and feel the tip of with your toes and cushions of the shoes with your heels. Don’t let any pain or discomfort get unnoticed.
Get advice from the salesperson on what shoes will go well with your daily routine. Do you stay in the office building most of the time? Are you always meeting and winning clients? They will know what best fits you if it’s for rugged or paved roads.
5. Get a Pedometer
If you would log your daily walks, then it’s best to have a pedometer or a step counter. The easiest way to know how much you’ve walked is with a wearable or wrist-type pedometer. You can also install a mobile app that will count every step you take or every move you make. It would continuously keep a watch on your everyday foot movement. Find the best pedometer for your lifestyle.
6. Do squats daily
When I started walking longer miles daily, I knew I have to be prepared. Before I took many steps outside of my home, I started doing simple squats… about 25 to 50 reps daily.
This made my walks easier and comfortable in my breathing. I don’t usually get restless and short of breath after I walk a couple of miles from point A to point B.
There are no strain and pain in my body after taking those long walks. It only gave me more energy at work and play.
7. Music can make a difference
When we listen to music while walking, we don’t feel the pressure of walking. We also put our mind in the zone while walking. Often, when I listen to the playlist of my mobile phone, I never realized that I have already reached my destination. And have already made a couple of miles of walking.
8. Always hydrate
Water… it is the best way to hydrate. Always have a bottle of water at hand when you have longer walks. As our body is made up of 50 to 65 percent water, we need to be always hydrated. Walking and drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water are also the best ways to be fit and healthier.
9. Enjoy your usual strides
Having friends and family walk with you is the best way to enjoy your weekly strides. Find people who would also have a reason to walk longer miles. Let your family enjoy the benefits of having a pleasant stroll in the park or a mall. Or even let your dog have a stroll with you. It would make your walks more enjoyable.
10. Always know what your real goal
Walking 10,000 steps should not be your real goal. Your real goal is reaping the benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day. Being physically fit, having a great mental state, and becoming goal-centred is why you are walking 10,000 steps for yourself and your loved ones.
Ready or not have the first step
Why do we have to make the first step and do it regularly?
Walking 10,000 steps a day would keep your body fit while increasing your lifespan. It also maintains the fluids in your joints and prevents arthritis.
Another reason to take longer walks is to reduce stress and help prevent mental decline, as walking produces endorphins that keep your brain healthy.
There are many more health reasons why you should walk, but the best one is that it keeps us moving forward.