I have noticed that several of my blogging friends complain about their weight and how much they need to lose. Visions of grueling hours at the gym come immediately to mind. Not to worry friends, Dr. Charleston is here to help.
This is actually real advice, gained from recent experience with writing a grant and developing a program for the local Arboretum called Healthy Trails. It turns out that maintaining your weight isn't nearly as big a deal as previously thought. All you have to do is walk.
Taking 10,000 steps a day is all that is required for the average person to maintain their weight. A combination of 10,000 steps a day and a good diet and you will lose weight. There's also the added benefit of a 57% reduction in your chance of a heart attack, and a 67% reduction in your chance of developing diabetes. Don't believe me? Google 10,000 steps and see what you get.
Now, before you shy away from the astronomical sum of 10,000 steps, you should know that the average office worker takes between 4,000-5,000 steps a day in their everyday activities. Adding another 5,000 steps only requires about an additional 30-minutes of walking each day.
Here's the deal. For whatever reason, most people react negatively to the thought of walking a prescribed number of miles or minutes each day. Perhaps it's because you think you have to do it all within a specific block of time. But research shows that you don't have to do all of your exercise at once, in fact, it's actually better for you to do it over the period of an entire day.
Here's what you do. Buy yourself a pedometer. You can get one cheap most anywhere. Put the pedometer on first thing in the morning and don't take it off until you go to bed at night. You can keep track of how many steps you take during the day as you work towards your goal of 10,000. You will find that you will begin to take extra steps, take the stairs, walk the long way back to the office at lunch, walk around the block in the evening, do a bunch of little things to reach your 10,000 step goal. Soon, these little things become habit and you will begin living a healthy lifestyle of walking.
Don't try to eat the whole elephant. If you're healthy and 10,000 steps is no big deal, go for 20,000. If 10,000 steps is a challenge, start small and work your way up. The thing is, get the pedometer. Being able to refer to it throughout the day is an incredible incentive and actually fun.
Dr. Charleston, MD, BSA