Fitness trackers are a common accessory to see these days, and for good reason! Lots of people find that keeping tabs on their activity level throughout the day can be a great way to motivate themselves for more. You don’t need an expensive device to get the most out of fitness tracking. Before smartphones and bracelet-style trackers, there were pedometers, which are still a popular way to count steps today. Pedometers can come in several styles and have a variety of data points they can collect, from steps taken, miles walked, and even the length of steps. There’s also nothing wrong with splurging a modern app-enabled fitness tracker to motivate you, as the benefits of increasing your steps in a day is well worth it!
Health Benefits of Walking
Besides giving you a change of scenery during your workday, a short walk has tons of health benefits. If you strive to make walking part of your every day routine, these results (and more!) could be coming your way.
- Lowered stress hormones and blood pressure
- Lowered risk of certain cancers such as colon and breast cancer
- A Longer Lifespan – people who add 150 minutes of brisk walking to their weekly routines add, on average, just over 3 years to their lifespan
- Walking Increases blood flow, reducing vascular disease.
- You can curb cravings for sugary snacks by taking a 15 minute walk.
Walking As Part of Your Daily Routine
So how much walking is ideal in a daily routine? Experts disagree on an “optimum” step count, but they do recognize that a lifestyle that produces less than 5,000 steps in a day is considered “sedentary.” Of course, some jobs require more walking than others. Nurses, for example, walk 16,000 steps in a day! We’re sure agriculture workers have similar stats, as well.
If you’re in a career field where you’re not walking up and down hallways or fields all day, you can still find ways to add it into your schedule. Opting for the stairs instead of an elevator is a great example of one of many small ways to add steps. Walking to your favorite lunch spot will boost your step count, too. Consider adding an evening walk with your family to your routine, as well, to decompress from work and get outside together.
Count The Steps for Success
If you’re wanting to take advantage of the health benefits of walking, a great place to start is to begin counting your steps. Experts have found that those who actively track their steps throughout the day take 2500 more on average than those who don’t! That’s a mile and a half more walking in a single day than someone who isn’t paying attention to their own walking habits. Whether you choose a simple pedometer or use a smartphone enabled fitness tracker, start by finding where your “baseline” is, and make goals to add more steps to your day in small ways.
You can even challenge your coworkers or family members to a “walkoff” and see who can get the most steps in a day! Keep it fun and try new ways of staying active to make walking a part of your every day life.