I knew I wasn’t an especially active person. I work out of my home for the most part, and much of my time is spent in a chair, staring at the computer (like now). But it wasn’t until I clipped a rather small, benign-looking gadget to my hip that I realized how sedentary I really am.
According to several articles, including this one, a sedentary person walks an average of 1,000 to 3,000 per day. On my first pedometer-laden day, I barely passed 1,200. And that was on a day that I thought I was busy! Pitiful.
So I decided to push it to 5,000. I did a lot of useless pacing. I stood up and walked around the room every time I waited for a website to load (which takes a bit of time since we don’t have DSL). Little things like that. I only made it to 3,000.
The next day, I vacuumed. Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a slob. But you might. So vacuuming is not necessarily a regular habit in this house. I also did an extra load or two of laundry. And I went around the house decluttering a few times that day. I reached (passed!) 5,000 steps, and my house was cleaner than it typically is, unless company’s coming.
Hm. Perhaps I was onto something.
This past week, I increased my goal to 10,000 steps per day, which is the recommended average for maximum health benefit and weight loss. The sheets on all the beds in the house are fresh. The sheets I removed have been laundered and put away, rather than crammed in the hamper for some magical future day when I have extra time. The hard floors have been mopped. There is virtually no clutter anywhere in the house, and the kitchen counters are confused, wondering why all their dirty dish friends have been cutting their visits so short.
Still, all that activity only gets me to about 8,000 steps. So, in the afternoons, when I have the news on, or the girls want me to watch a movie with them, I walk. It annoyed the girls at first, but they’re getting used to it. I walk back and forth behind the sofa, where I am still able to pay attention to whatever’s on the tube but I don’t get in anyone’s way. Yesterday, I knocked off 2,500 steps this way, just walking during the last few minutes of Meet the Robinsons, which the girls have been wanting me to see.
Guess what I normally do when I’m watching tv in the afternoon. I eat. Being notoriously bad at multi-tasking, there is no way I could handle watching, walking and eating. So, without much effort, I have eliminated a few hundred extra calories from my day. Not to mention what I’m burning with all that walking (roughly 300 calories per day when I hit 10,000 steps).
And one more thing: when I run errands, I walk up and down every single aisle now, since it adds hundreds of steps and not much extra time. Side effect? I remember to pick up things that I forgot to put on my list, just because I happen to walk right by them!
My pedometer really works for me. It keeps me moving, it keeps my house clean, it keeps me from mindlessly stuffing my face, and it even keeps my pantry stocked.
Click here to see what works for Shannon! (Hers is a healthy tip this week, too.)