I don’t know who decided that everyone ought to walk 10,000 steps every day, I don’t know what science went into choosing that exact number, and I certainly don’t know how many of us actually achieve this magic number. I know I certainly wouldn’t if I didn’t try.
I read about the fitbit on a blog, and I started coveting one the moment I saw that it was a pedometer that not only counted your steps but could be used to track sleep. I have had sleep problems for as long as I can remember, and I was intrigued at the thought of having data about my poor sleeping skills handy.
This January I pulled the trigger and bought one. It has since become an almost essential part of my being.
Seriously. I forgot it one day and was distraught about it for like a week because it skewed my stats. It has made me feel super motivated to achieve a high step count every day. My gym rest days make me all antsy because my step count is so low.
That’s really the most interesting part of having a pedometer. If it is suggested that we take 10,000 steps each day… well, I know first-hand that most Americans with desk jobs probably fail at that goal. Miserably.
On a day I go to the gym, I could hit and surpass 10,000 steps–that is, if I spend an hour on the treadmill. This past Tuesday I went to the gym to focus on strength training and only walked 2 miles, yet my step total for the day was just short of the 10,000 mark. I make a point to take the steps to and from my car in the parking garage, usually parked on the top floor, and if I don’t hit the treadmill that day… it doesn’t matter. I’m lucky to break 4,000 steps on a non-gym day.
The average American cubicle slave? Well, chances are they are quite like me on days I don’t make a point to exercise. In fact, they are likely to take the elevator to their cars, so their step counts might even be lower.
Frankly, if this doesn’t help one to understand why Americans are obese, I don’t know what would. We just do not move enough.
I wish I could give every person a fitbit, or some sort of pedometer, just to open everyone’s eyes to how little movement most of do every day.
The moral of the story? GET UP AND WALK. Trust me. It’s probably the best thing you can do for yourself every day.