Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Since Peter and I began writing this blog in November, I've written several posts about the importance of incorporating physical activity into your daily life. The reason that I feel people should focus on increasing the amount of exercise they get throughout the day is that many (if not most) people don't enjoy structured exercise (by structured exercise I mean going to the gym, the pool, or out on the roads to do a "workout"), which makes it incredibly difficult for them to sustain that exercise over time. Even among those people who enjoy structured workouts, it can be incredibly hard to find the time to get to the gym on a regular basis.
Rather than trying to convince people to perform more structured exercise, I think most sedentary individuals would be much better served by increasing the amount of physical activity they get throughout the day. Although they may burn less calories than if they were doing a structured workout, I believe they are much more likely to maintain this type of physical activity over the long-term. I can't overstress how critical that is. Physical activity has to be maintained over the long-term to reap the most health benefits.
So, what is the first step to increasing your daily physical activity level? One very simple step is to buy a pedometer. They cost very little, and they can give you a very good sense of how much activity you are getting on a daily basis. My mother has been using one to great effect for years, and I have always been impressed with the way that it has not only educated her about her physical activity levels, but also motivated her to move more on a daily basis. After years of admiring her pedometer, I have finally purchased my own. I bought it at The Source (formerly Radio Shack) for $19.99. In the 7 hours since I purchased it, I have taken 2305 steps. I can already tell that it's not perfect - each time the pedometer is shaken it counts as 1 step, so it tends to slightly overestimate the number of steps I am taking. Be that as it may, I think this will be a very educational experience for me, and I look forward to measuring the number of steps that I get in my day-to-day life.
I will also be sharing my daily step count with others on my twitter page, which you can find here. Each night before I go to bed, I will Tweet the number of of steps that I took that day. I will wear it when I go running, when I go cycling (by placing it on my shoe), and any other time that I am awake and wearing clothes (which, sadly, is the way I spend most of my day). Today, the Twedometer is born.
How many steps do you take on a daily basis? What are some ways you can incorporate more walking into your day-to-day life?
Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below!
To get future posts delivered directly to your email inbox or to your RSS reader, be sure to subscribe to Obesity Panacea.