I Like To Move It With A Pedometer: True Confessions from My Five Day 10,000 Steps A Day Program (Hopefully it won’t turn out to be all that dramatic.)
The 10,000 Steps A Day program has launched at work as part of Put Down The Cookie. I confess, sometimes I initiate these wellness program to co-workers but don’t always participate myself. This time is different. I’m wearing the pedometer and plan to take at least 10,000 steps a day for five days right along with everyone else.
I haven’t worn a pedometer for awhile so that’s the first challenge, but so far so good. I haven’t flushed it down the toilet, or loaded it into the washing machine; although I have a co-worker that did the latter and reported that one laundry cycle equals 875 steps.
I’ll give you a brief daily check-in on how I did, whether or not I met my goal (I promise to be 100% honest), and an opinion (I always have plenty of those) on the overall effectiveness of the program.
Day One – I have to tell you that just putting on a pedometer that registers a big goose egg makes me want to start moving around. I did my usual routine this morning which means getting everything for the day together and out to the car to take to the Y because that’s where I get ready for work after my morning class. My husband is off on a deep-sea adventure this week so I have the dogs to feed and walk and a few other odds and ends things to do that are not normally on my schedule. But that’s okay. I need the steps.
Today the workout was cardio step and strength intervals. I’m not sure how many steps I can expect to get out of that, but when I checked the pedometer after class at around 6:30 a.m. I already had 7,670 steps! Wow. That means I can pretty much sit around the rest of the day, which unfortunately is what I end up doing anyway because I have a desk job, and still meet my goal.
At home for the evening I did some chores, plus some of my husband’s. I go up and down the stairs a lot when I’m at home and that helps. I recently read where Betty White said that she doesn’t really have an exercise routine but she has steps in her home and a bad memory. I can relate to that. The steps are a blessing. End of Day One – 11,698 Steps! Success!
Day Two – This is the one day of the week that I don’t do a structured workout so I’ll have to be a little more creative to get my steps in. I typically do the things everybody else does to get more daily steps in: park farther away from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. I’m anxious to see how many steps I take on an average day without doing anything above and beyond.
Checking the pedometer at 2 p.m. tells me I have some work to do. I’m only at 5,140. My mini Daschund that loves to take me for evening walks will benefit from me being behind in my steps. But in case walking after work won’t be enough I’ll take a quick walk around the block now and get some away-from-the-desk time in.
At home I did my evening chores, let the dog take me for a walk, actually did a little walking in place while I watched the news and stared at the closet to pick out my clothes for tomorrow, went up and down the steps a couple extra times, and at The End of Day Two – 9,175 Steps! (Aaargghh!!)
Day Three – I did my workout in the morning where we did some jogging, walking lunges, and gliders. By the end of class I had about 7,000 steps. Today I had several work related errands to run. One was to Wal Mart to pick up the pedometer for the 10,000 Steps Program drawing. At Wal Mart I parked quite a good distance from the store, but there wasn’t really much choice because of the holiday shoppers. As luck would have it, Wal Mart doesn’t have the Omron pocket pedometer that I promised I would have to give away on Monday. I had a couple of other stops to make, then after getting home did my usual evening chores, walked the dogs, and did some light cleaning. End of Day Three – 22,452. Yowzers!!!
Day Four – I’m interested to see how many steps I can get on Saturday just doing my usual Saturday stuff which is cleaning, laundry, shopping, and all of those other chores that there is no time to get to during the week. One of the reasons I ran the five day program over the weekend was so I could get some feedback from people, plus find out for myself, if it’s easier getting to the goal when we have the freedom to move around as much as we want. I’ll be anxious to see what the rest of the participants think, but I didn’t have any problem getting to the 10,000 steps. End of Day Four – 13,054. Decently cool.
Day Five - The final day of Round One of the 10,000 Steps A Day Program. Today was Sunday and I had a lot to get done. Cleaning, grocery shopping, Christmas shopping and decorating. Sunday is the day when I usually don’t sit down (except to blog) so I wasn’t really worried, but I was curious just how many steps I would get without going for a walk or jog. End of Day Five – 20,990. No wonder I’m pooped!
I’ve drawn a few conclusions based upon my experience with the program and the feedback I’ve received from some of my co-workers:
- Wearing The Pedometer Is Key. Wearing a pedometer definitely makes you more aware of how much you are moving around and ultimately you will move more if you set a goal and do some things to get extra steps in your day.
- It’s not as hard as you’d think. Some of my co-workers said they didn’t think they could take 10,000 steps a day. I wasn’t sure how I would do on the days that I don’t go to the gym. But, the steps really do add up quickly if you put a little effort into it and do some of the things that you already know are guaranteed to add steps to your day: park farther away, take the stairs instead of the elevator, pace around in your office or workspace, walk in place rather than sit when watching TV. One of the best ways to add steps is to prepare dinner for your family rather than going out to eat, running through the drive-through or nuking a heat-and-eat item from the grocery.
- Having A Dog Helps. There were a couple of days when taking the dog for a walk pushed me up to the goal. Dogs absolutely love getting extra physical activity and enjoy it even more when you’re with them. I cannot say no to my dog when he stands in front of the leash that hangs on the door knob and looks at me.
- Getting 10,000 Steps A Day Is Worth It. Without sounding like a broken record, it has been proven that getting 10,000 steps a day can help us maintain, not gain weight and even lose weight if we taper our calories accordingly. Plus, physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer, obesity, osteoporosis and depression.