What is "active"?

Aug 27

What is "active"?

Do you have an active lifestyle?  How do you determine that?

Can you be “active” when you spend most of the day sitting at a desk?

Does going to the gym for an hour 3x a week qualify?

There are many definitions for “active” and they’re not that easy to measure.  There is one fairly accurate measurement, though, and that is the number of steps you take each day.

According to Dr. Yoshiro Hatano, a Kinesiology professor in Japan who has researched the benefits of walking, and monitoring steps walked with pedometers, for years, the “magic number” seems to be about 10,000 steps – or the equivalent of walking about 5 miles a day.

So how many steps do you take each day?  Do you know?

On days (like today) where I spend the majority of my time on the computer writing and researching, I take around 2000 steps.  Not very many!  On days where I’m working at Gymboree I take about 6,000 – a tough workout to be sure as I climb on the various bits of apparatus and dance with kids all day – but not enough.  On days were I actually follow through on my walking program in addition to everything else, I easily reach 10,000.

I wouldn’t want you to strap on a pedometer today and just go for those 10,000 steps without preparation, though.  You’ll burn out in less than a week, and your pedometer will be relegated to the ever-growing pile of unused fitness equipment.

What you need to do is strap that puppy on, and just “live normally” for a week without worrying about it.  Every night before you go to bed, record your steps.  That’s it.  If you miss a day, don’t worry about it.  Start again the next day.

At the end of the week, tally up all your steps, and divide by the number of days you measured.  That’s your daily average.

Now, beginning the next week, attempt to add 100 steps to that daily average each day.  So, if your daily average was 1750 (because you spend most of your work day in a cubicle and most of your evenings in front of the TV) try, in week 2, to take a daily average of 1850 steps.  A small improvement, but very achievable.  Achieving it will make you feel great, and motivate you to keep going.

The trick is to make sure that that 1850 is a daily goal.  Don’t sit on your butt all day for 6 days and then walk 20 miles on the weekend.  What you want is a steady, active pace, each and every day.

Try it out.  Tell me how it goes.  Post your questions and challenges below in the comments section, and I’ll get right on them!


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Who is Darlene Hull?
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* Any link with an asterisk (*) denotes an affiliate link or a source with some kind of payback for me.
The advice offered in this blog is based upon the author’s own experience. The author is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the readers. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions in this blog are not intended to replace a consultation with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The author shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity that incurs any loss, damage, or injury caused directly, or indirectly from any information or suggestion in this Program.
* Any link with an asterisk (*) denotes an affiliate link or a source with some kind of payback for me.
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