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Kiss the Couch Goodbye: Take 10,000 steps a day and burn 500 extra calories

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the average active female burns around 2200 calories a day, whereas her male counterpart expends around 2900 calories. You may not be aware that you are burning calories at rest, when you eat and when you move around, in fact you burn one calorie a minute just breathing and sitting on your tush.  If you are looking to lose weight, you have to burn an extra 3500 calories in one week to lose one pound.

One of the most convenient and easy ways to achieve a one pound a week weight loss is to increase how many steps you take every day.  Did you know the average sedentary person only takes about 3000 steps a day?   Here's the good news.  Increase your steps to 10,000 a day, which is equivalent to walking 5 miles, and you will burn about 500 extra calories a day, which over one weeks time translates into one pound lost.

How do you know how many steps you take?  Invest in a pedometer, put it on first thing when you wake up in the morning and take it off right before you go to sleep at night.  Record your daily number in a journal and find ways to increase it every day until you reach your goal.  Here are some tips:

  • Park in a not so convenient parking space every time you go shopping, the further from the front door the better
  • Always take the stairs when available
  • Take a walk around one of Charlotte's beautiful greenway parks
  • While doing household chores, take the long way around from room to room
  • Call a friend and go for a walk in your neighborhood

Not a fan of asphalt? The Harris YMCA , The Siskey YMCA and the Levine Jewish Fitness Facility all have outdoor tracks you can use.  Awareness is the first step to becoming more active and determining how many steps you take over the course of your day may be just the catalyst you need to make some healthy lifestyle changes.    See video to help you get started with the best walking technique.

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