Fitness experts universally advise folks to exercise. Daily physical activity contributes greatly to overall health for just about everyone. That’s no news flash. In fact, it’s one of the primary reasons serious athletes and fitness novices alike log their exercise routines, wear pedometers and activity monitors, or purchase personal electronic gadgets to measure daily exertions.
Every 2,000 steps equal approximately one mile. That means 10,000 steps add up to about five miles.
That sounds like a lot.
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Maybe it’s fine for those who love to exercise. What about everyone else? How can a somewhat sedentary sort increase physical activity, enhance fitness, and perhaps increase energy and strength?
Consider these 12 simple ways a non-runner can get moving and go the distance daily.
Practiced often, these basic and practical steps may boost exertion, burn calories, and improve physical fitness. Certainly, any individual living with physical challenges or health conditions will want to check with a physician before dramatically changing personal habits and fitness practices.
1. Pick comfortable shoes.
Who wants to walk at all in footwear that hurts? Tippy high heels and too-tight boots make extra steps cumbersome. On the other hand (or foot), well-fitting shoes with cushioned insteps and ample support fairly welcome the wearer to walk around more than usual.
2. Skip the car for short errands.
Running up the block for a quick stop? How about leaving the car at home and hoofing it this time?
3. Park farther away.
Heading for the office, the store, or another spot with a parking lot? Why not stash the car a few rows out and walk the extra distance?
4. Choose the stairs.
Just because your building has an elevator doesn’t mean you have to ride in it. Climbing up and down a flight or two of stairs is good exercise.
5. Stroll the mall, instead of shopping online.
Online shopping is convenient and easy. But striding through a shopping mall adds steps to one’s day. Many malls even open early in the morning, so fitness walkers can complete their daily regimens before stores open.
6. Browse every aisle in the grocery store.
Sure, a shopping list helps to keep food spending in check. But no one said one cannot walk up and down each row. Some energetic shoppers add a few bends and stretches along the way,
7. Adopt a dog, and walk him or her around the block.
A peppy canine companion makes a superb fitness trainer. Clip a leash on his or her collar, and the workout is on the way.
8. Pump it up during TV commercials.
During the evening or a day off, why not jump up and do a few exercises, walk up and down the stairs, or even go outside and take a lap around the building?
9. Set a cell phone alarm for hourly stand-ups and stretches.
At work, plenty of people set cell phone alerts to remind them to get up and move every hour. A short stroll down the hall and back can be heart-healthy.
10. Replace the office chair with a huge exercise ball.
Desk jockeys may feel tethered for hours, but a bouncy fitness ball encourages core movement and overall balance.
11. Hold sneaker meetings, rather than coffee breaks.
Why meet friends and colleagues over indulgent breakfasts, designer coffees, hearty lunches, or after-work drinks and appetizers? A power-walk meeting can accomplish much, professionally and physically.
12. Walk and talk for lengthy phone calls.
Working the phone lines? Stand up and pace, or meander around while chatting on the cell. The extra steps add to fitness, and may even increase alertness for the conversation.
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By adopting even a handful of these practices, nearly anyone can complete at least a half an hour of daily physical activity, even if it adds up in short doses. When it comes to improved fitness, every step counts.