10,000 Steps In Stride

“Oh, the tyranny of 10,000. That’s the number of steps experts tell us to take each day to stay in good shape. Ten thousand steps are a physical and mathematical challenge for me, because I sit and write at home all day. Here are the sad numbers. I take about 1,000 steps a day just doing the stuff of living – getting out of bed, making breakfast, chasing the dog around to give her eye drops. And I walk two miles on our treadmill to get in another 5,000 steps (I have a short stride). That leaves me feeling virtuous – yea, I exercised! – but also frustrated because I’m tired and sweaty and still 4,000 steps short of my goal. How do I make up the shortfall? Step by step, in small, sneaky ways. 1. Drink Lots of Water: I walk to the kitchen and fill my 32-ounce water bottle about 4 times a day. Total: 160 steps 2. Use the Farthest Bathroom: All that water makes me pee frequently. So instead of using the powder room, 20 steps, I walk to my master bathroom, 60 steps. I do that about 6 times a day. Total: 360 steps 3. Vacuum The Old-Fashioned Way: I love watching my vacuum robot pick up dog hair. But, I can pick up hundreds of steps when I vacuum the family room myself. Total: 200 steps 4. Shop for Supper: Instead of buying a week’s worth of groceries at one time, I shop for supper daily. (So I don’t waste gas, I do all my daily errands around supper shopping. That way, I’m only in the car once each day.) I park as far from the market as I can (350 steps), then walk around the perimeter of the store after I’ve picked up supper (385 steps). Total: 735 steps 5. Walk The Dogs: My dogs use up a lot of steps. In the morning, we all walk into the garden to pull weeds and pick zucchini (200 steps). And once a day, instead of letting my girls out in the backyard, I walk them around the block, so we all get more exercise (1,000 steps). Total: 1,200 steps 6. Hide the Remote: Each time I change channels, I get up from the couch and walk to the TV (40 steps). And during commercials on “How I Met Your Mother” reruns, I do household chores – load the dishwasher, empty the dryer, take out the garbage (88 steps per minute for 10.5 minutes). Not only do I gain steps, but my house looks gorgeous. Total: 964 steps 7. Pace: When I wait, I pace. I’m always ready for date night before my husband, so I squeeze in at least 500 steps pace-waiting for him; when the cable company puts me on hold, I take at least 300 steps. The point is, when time stands still, you don’t have to. Total 400 steps Grand Total: 10,019 Steps Of course, some days I take more steps, some days fewer. But when I set 10,000 as my goal, I look for excuses to get up and move, rather than reasons to sit and veg out. How do you sneak in 10,000 steps?” From “7 Sneaky Ways to Take 10,000 Steps (Besides Using the Stairs” By Lisa Kaplan Gordon

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