Monthly Archives: November 2013
Have you heard of the term “sitting disease” or “couch potato”? Well, these are terms that are used to describe the sedentary lifestyle. I live in a part of the country that ranks as one of the top 6 states that has one of the highest rates of physical inactivity. On top of topping the list with a high number of people with sedentary lifestyles, we also rank high for diagnosed diabetes and obesity. Sitting disease is killing people. Technologies such as the internet, email, cell phones, video games, delivery services, etc.. have contributed to this prolonged sitting. Humans are meant to move. Prolonged periods of inactivity will raise the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. I want to change this. I want to take the fight against sitting disease and I want to encourage and inspire people in my town, my state, other states, and other countries to get off the couch and get moving to better their health and wellness. This is where the 10,000 Steps For Health Challenge comes in. I have read about these types of challenges and it caught my attention to start one.
You may have heard that the Surgeon General’s recommendation is about 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. If you were asked how many steps you take in a day would you know? Approximately 2,000 steps equals a mile. If you follow the Surgeon General’s recommendation and say you do 2 miles of walking which is approximately 30 minutes depending on your pace you will already have 4000 steps. The challenge is to get the extra 6000 steps throughout the day by doing more movement each day. Below is just a guideline I found to give a rough idea of steps per day and activity level. If you are inactive to begin with, you would gradually work up to 10,000 by setting your goal about 500 – 1000 steps above your baseline every week or two.
Steps Per Day Activity Level
5000-7499 low active
7500-9999 moderate active
>12,500 highly active
Why take the steps challenge? First of all, walking and moving is free. No gym or special equipment (besides a pedometer) is needed. The step challenge is done all throughout the day. Let’s get back to the good old days when there was no internet, cell phones, email, video games etc…Let’s pretend it is 1975 and get up and move. This is how I will start. I am challenging myself, people at my work, family, friends and anyone who wants to make a difference with themselves or anyone who may want to inspire and encourage others to make a positive change for their health. I will officially begin the challenge Monday November 25, 2013. I will log my daily steps everyday up to January 1, 2014. I will post my progress on this blog, instagram, twitter, and facebook in hopes to get the movement out and inspire someone else.
1. Get the pedometer. Follow the instructions on how to measure my stride and how to wear my pedometer.
2. I will wear the pedometer this Thursday and Friday to count my steps for a normal day for me. I will take the average number of steps to use as my baseline. I will then set my daily goal.
3. I will wear my pedometer all day every day for the challenge. I will log my steps at the end of the day into my calendar.
4. I will set up the challenge at work so we can post our weekly steps, keep each other motivated, and engage in some healthy competition.
I have always preached that people who track their workouts, activity, progress in some form on a daily basis have more success at reaching their goals. Tracking your progress keeps you motivated and more accountable. The pedometer is a simple and highly effective tool to keep on your “toes” 😀 This is a great way to improve your health, fitness, and possibly lose a few pounds if that is your goal.
Ways To Get More Steps In A Day
1. Walk the dog
2. Park far from the entrance to your grocery, gym, work etc..
3. Walk around while you talk on the phone
4. Do more household chores per day (winner!)
5. Yard work like raking, sweeping, etc..
6. Walking meetings at work
7. Email less, cell phone less, text less. Walk down the hall and tell your co-worker the message. Remember, 1975!
8. Move during commercials while watching your favorite show
9. Use the stairs all the time
10. Workout at home or gym
11. Jog or march in place
12. Walk every aisle at the grocery store before you begin to shop
13. Short walk after meals (great timing since Turkey Day and holidays are approaching) Winning!
14. Grab friends for a walk to catch up then go have tea time 🙂
Keep in mind if you are not active, build up to 10,000 steps per day. Start at your baseline and add 500 to 1000 steps per week until you reach your goal. If you are already highly active, set a new goal and go for it. I am so excited about this challenge. I really think being proactive about our own health is our own responsibility. Take action with me!
Let’s Move The World!
Consult your own physician before beginning any new exercise or workout program.
November is a month full of running and racing, so for all of you runners who have been following my Pilates for runners series, this is one of my favorites. The Standing Leg Lift/Leg Circle. This exercise works the leg, the important stabilizers, the core and increases hip mobility.
I stand in Pilates stance engaging my hamstrings, abdominals, and inner thighs. I keep my arms up and parallel to the floor with my shoulders back and down. I then lift my left leg out to the side keeping my knee facing forward without locking it out. I am inhaling and exhaling as I lift and lower my leg about 8-10 times. I then hold my leg up and balance as I work into leg circles, first clockwise about 8-10 times, then counter-clockwise about 8-10 times. I release back to center in Pilates stance and then repeat on the other side.
The six principles of Pilates can definitely apply to running. They are concentration, centering, control, breathing, precision and flow. Runners need all of these to run efficiently and with less risk for injury. So, I have always said that cross training is very beneficial for many sports. I know Pilates is an excellent choice for runners to incorporate into their training to strengthen their “powerhouse” and to reduce the risk of injury so they can run faster and with more control.
Piper loves being on camera any chance she gets. Sorry for the butt angle though. Have you tried the standing leg lift before?
Always check with your own doctor before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.