It seems like the Commonwealth of MA is not alone in promoting walking as a great form of exercise. The Boston Globe recently ran an article on easy and fun ways to add more steps to your day, and a lot of the article’s suggestions mirror the ideas behind the upcoming Step It Up! walking campaign. Step It Up!, which begins on September 4 (although registration is open now!), challenges participants to add 10,000 steps (or the equivalent of 5 miles) to their day, and as we (and the Globe article) like to point out, this doesn’t necessarily mean walking five miles straight. It’s easy to add extra steps to your day by doing one or more of the following:
- Park your car at the furthest spot in the parking lot
- Get off one or two T stops early and walk the rest of the way to work
- Take the stairs whenever possible (you’ll even burn more calories this way)
- Get up and walk to your coworker’s desk instead of calling or sending them an email
You can also add more casual or leisure activity to your day in the form of household chores (vacuuming, gardening) or sports such as swimming or tennis. Experts recommend getting 45-60 minutes of activity most days of the week, and the good news is that you don’t need to fit this activity in all at once. It’s okay to split your activity into smaller increments, like taking three 15-minute walks, and you’ll still receive the same health benefits.
Step It Up! participants will receive a free drawstring bag and a pedometer to track steps. You can also count other activities toward your daily step total by using our online step conversion tool. I think you’ll be surprised by how many steps you actually take each day, and hopefully you’ll be encouraged to add even more!