The winter did a number on my daily goal of 15,000 steps. It wasn’t particularly cold but hitting the streets in the AM chill, for whatever it was, made it easy to turn back quickly. The last couple of weeks I’ve got my rhythm back and I now have the help of my new toy, the Fitbit One.
This little piece of electronics addresses three of my long time interests: Walking, exercise toys, and sleeping. The Fitbit is a pedometer with a social angle because you can hook up with friends and motivate them if that is your wish. It records step as well as stairs and one nice thing about it—it seems more generous with the step than my old pedometer though my old pedometer cost a lot less.
Walking 15,000 steps a day is a beast of an effort. It is not hardcore exercise but it can provide you with so much of the physical work that your body needs. There have been numerous studies showing the one hour of brisk walking three days a week will lower the risk of heart disease and many other ailments as well. The standard metric for walking is usually 10,000 daily steps which is great but 15,000 requires a more intense commitment. To accomplish it I have to take at least one long walk in addition to the steps I get simply from my lifestyle(It helps that I have a dog).
There is another factor to consider as well—the difference between walking and walking correctly. 15,000 poorly executed steps will provide exercise, make your heart work, increase your oxygen intake etc. But it will not accomplish the main goal of my walking program which is to age gracefully. Each correct step that we take is a core exercise that draws us energetically towards the center of the body where we move around the central axis of the spine. Walking correctly builds valuable muscle tone in all the right spots.
Learning to walk and walking a lot is a great recipe for keeping your body fit and healthy long into old age. Tomorrow I’ll share the scary results of tracking my sleep for the past few days.