Small Steps to Success

Being physically active burns calories and reduces unwanted weight. The ultimate goal is to makes yourself healthier. Adding exercise gradually to your daily routine can have positive long term effects on your body. Being physically active also builds muscle strength and enhances mental wellbeing. Walking is a simple exercise that is inexpensive and can be done anywhere.

A pedometer is a tool that keeps track of the distance you have walked and the number of steps you take on a daily basis. This device is a small box that is clipped onto your belt or pants. Using a pedometer can help you stay on top of your exercise and track your own progress.

There are plenty of ways to add steps to your daily routine at home, work, and recreationally.

Here some examples:

  • Walk to work if you live close enough
  • Designate 15 minutes of your lunch break for a short walk
  • Walk you children to the bus stop or school
  • Walk the mall on rainy days
  • Dancing
  • Take the stairs when possible instead of using the elevator or escalator
  • Walk the outside perimeter of the grocery store before shopping
  • Park your car in the furthest spot from the stores door
  • Window shop at the mall
  • Exit the bus one or two stops early and walk the remainder of your way
  • Walk around the block once when you go outside to get the mail
  • Tour a local museum or zoo
  • Walk around the high school track (4 laps is equal to approximately 2,000 steps)
  • Hiking
  • Sign up for a 5K walk/run
  • Household chores such as vacuuming and washing floors add daily steps

Invite friends or family to accompany you on your walk. You can also listen to music or books on tape while walking. Picking up the pace and walking uphill will help you burn more calories. This can enhance your experience, make the time go by more quickly, and make this new routine more pleasurable. Furthermore, measuring your progress on a daily basis can help you achieve your goals. Remember all activity is beneficial and doing something is better than doing nothing. Also, it is not just what you eat that is important; exercise can help you improve your health, boost your energy, feel better, and keep the weight off long term.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Living Well, May-June 2009
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