You can walk this way, or else… you may end up suffering from the consequences of being sedentary.
We already know that walking and staying active is SO important to our health & wellness.
But do you understand the negative impact we face by not getting enough steps? Or for sitting too long?
We’ll answer this as we wrap up our “walking” habit for Month 5.
So what’s with this week’s title?
Well, last week I built our theme around a great Pink Floyd song to help you maximize your daily step count with machines. This week, I couldn’t help but incorporate a great Aerosmith song to reinforce the importance of walking.
We’ve all heard and read about the importance of taking 10,000 steps every day (aka 10K a day!). In fact, over the past 4 weeks we’ve covered numerous benefits of walking:
10,000 steps began as an arbitrary number. It was originally created as a promotion by a Japanese pedometer company. Since then, studies have confirmed that 10,000 appears to be the sweet spot where people lose weight and gain control of their health & wellness.
See how you stack up:
- Under 5,000 steps per day is considered “sedentary”. This is where health risks begin.
- 5,000 to 7,499 is “low active”. This is the category most people fall into. But you don’t want to stay here.
- 7,500 to 9,999 is categorized as “somewhat active”.
- Log 10,000 to 12,499 steps per day and you are considered to be “active”. With consistency, this is a great place to be.
- And over 12,500 puts you in the “highly active” category.
Congratulations if you fall into one of the last two categories.
So what if your activity level has you categorized as sedentary or low active? Should you be concerned and what does this mean?
You think, “OK, I’m concerned. So what does this mean for me?”
First off, it may indicate that you’re not getting enough exercise. Walking is important to your health & wellness, but it’s not the only thing you need to do.
In addition to walking, you need to include a few strength training and a couple of cardio sessions every week.
This all contributes to your 10K a day, but walking by itself is probably not enough. Your body benefits from strength training in so many ways.
I’m not suggesting that you enter a power-lifting competition like my son-in-law Chris. For us middle-aged and older folks, this includes lighter weights, bodyweight exercises, and machines.
In addition to the benefits of strength training, the sustained intensity from aerobic exercise (aka cardio) is beneficial to your heart, lungs, brain, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
Cardio will also improve your stamina and endurance during strength training sessions, and vice versa.
Here are 2 good articles worth reading:
If you are sedentary, let this be the catalyst to help you start moving. And make sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new activity, nutrition or exercise program.
Remember, the consistency of slow and steady for long-term results always trumps quick fix!
If you’re new to us, you can link back to the first post of our 6-month series here. And don’t worry about the time of year. We started in January because that’s when most people think about their health & wellness goals. But you can start anytime.
Same goes if you started but have fallen off-track. Go back to the first post of the series to re-calibrate and get yourself back on-track.
It’s a simple concept: One new habit per month, reinforced weekly to help you build the discipline. And since there are only a half dozen habits to build, it’s easy to manage, once you get into the groove.
But as Jim Rohn used to say, “What’s easy to do is easy not to do”.
6 months to build 6 healthy habits and disciplines that you can sustain for a lifetime.
Here’s how. By…
- taking action, one habit at a time.
- consciously (and consistently) making good choices.
- knowing what to do and learning from your missteps along the way.
- allowing your new habits to become part of your long-term plan and healthy lifestyle.
It’s up to you how long it takes to reach your goal. And then you have a lifetime to enjoy your new healthy lifestyle. How cool is that?
One last thing before we go.
I have a few words of caution about walking as we wrap up.
- First for the ladies: Never walk alone. Especially in the dark or in desolate places.
- And for all of us: Always be alert and walk against traffic if you’re forced to walk in the street. Distracted driving is a big problem.
- Safety should always be your main goal.
Next week we’ll introduce the 6th and final healthy habit of our 6-month series. In the meantime, don’t forget to Walk This Way!
Or get moving to one of your favorite walking (or running) songs…
- Take a walk on the wild side
- Walk like an Egyptian
- Walking on sunshine
- I’m walking
- Walkin’ the dog
- Running down a dream
- Running with the devil
- Run like hell
Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found value.
Now it’s time for YOU to take action…
What’s your Win to be Thin? Leave a comment below.