Adding Steps

Exercise doesn't have to be a rigid, time-consuming activity. In fact, it shouldn't be thought of in terms of one activity. That is why we like the 10,000-a-day concept so much -- walking your dog, walking with your child to the park, walking to and from the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all be parts of a daily exercise routine that together add up to 10,000 steps.

The challenge is to think creatively about ways you might add "steps" to your day. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs as often as possible
  • Park several blocks from your destination or park at the rear of the parking lot
  • Walk the last few blocks instead of riding the bus all the way to work
  • Get off the elevator below your destination and walk a couple of flights of stairs
  • Park at the opposite end of the mall from where you need to shop
  • Walk to do shopping or other errands 

Consider adding other walking routines to your day by organizing a lunchtime walking group at work, or a before- or after-work group with friends or neighbors. Instead of watching television after dinner, get the whole family outside for a game of tag, Frisbee or a walk around the block. Try not to get stuck in the "all or nothing" rut -- even if you don't have time for a long walk, you might be able to squeeze in a short one, or at least take the stairs.