One Step at a Time
An article by Linda
A 10,000 step a day physical fitness
program which originated in Japan and sports a name which sounds
roughly like “manpo” is spreading into the US. Common
sense, along with research, says that there is value in the program for
many of us.
The premise is that in order
to maintain one’s health, you need to walk (or be active) the
equivalent of 6,000 steps a day. If you want to approach the realm of
being physically fit and/or to lose weight, you need to walk 10,000
steps per day. Given everyone’s busy lifestyles, the experts suggest
that you strive for 70,000 steps a week and customize the program to
fit your daily life.
Here is how it can work for
you: start a pedometer on Monday morning at zero. If you aren’t showing
around 10,000 steps a day during the work week, try to fit in that
extra walking you need to get your total up over the weekend. You wear
the pedometer all the time, so yes, it does count as you do your day –
from walking to the refrigerator, the couch, or the car, to doing the
stairs, jogging, fitness classes, and hikes. If you are already very
active, then this program has little to say to you. But if you find
that after a trial week or two, your numbers aren’t where you want them
to be, you know exactly what you need to do, and you can watch your
progress on the pedometer very easily. Soon you too will know how many
steps there are between your house and the mailbox, between the couch
and the kitchen, and maybe also how many steps you can get in by
strolling around the block or leaving your car at the far end of the
parking lot. Avoiding elevators works too.
You can buy a pedometer at any
big box discount or sports store. They range in price from less than
ten dollars to up past fifty depending on what you want your instrument
to do. The higher the price, the more features you will probably get.
Today’s pedometers count steps, measure distance, take your heart rate,
calculate calories burned, some even “talk,” but no, they won’t help
you decide what to make for dinner, and they won’t do your taxes
either. All you really need is a simple step-counter, and these
generally cost less than fifteen dollars. One reliable model is a #340
put out by Sportline. Its spring clip is less prone to breakage than
other fasteners, and its small size makes it non-obtrusive. This model
also measures your distance if you program in the length of your stride
but you don’t need to do this. For many of us, simple is better.
If your steps number somewhere
around six thousand a day, and you increase them to ten thousand a day
without changing your eating habits, guess what happens to your weight?
If you walk somewhere around six thousand steps a day and you move to
ten thousand a day, and you reduce your caloric intake as well, you
will get even better results. You probably won’t notice a reduction in
gray hairs or the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but
you will, over time, lose some weight and probably feel just a bit
better too. The dirty little secret, yes, is that 10,000 is a big
number and if you don’t take some of those steps at a reasonable pace,
you either won’t do them all, or it will take too much of your day.
This is not a promise of magic; if you want results, you still have to
put in some effort. Many people find this program a lot more appealing
though than trying to lose weight through diet alone. Plus exercise is
very helpful in preventing disease and in keeping various measures of
blood chemistry in healthful ranges.
The advantages of this program
are that you don’t need to make a particular time commitment or attend
a class. Except for the pedometer, you don’t need any special equipment
either. You can do this alone or with somebody. You can even step in
place while you watch television and wear your old clothes. The steps
are easy; just do them one at a time!
Another article from Linda:
Driving in the UK -
Take your life in your hands.
Transatlantic Journey - Surviving Long Flights
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The statistics on sanity are
that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of
mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay,
then it's you. ~~ Rita Mae Brown