My job is considered a sedentary job. I work in corporate America at a desk job. I am at my office for about 9 hours per day. I commute to the office sitting in my car for approximately 30 minutes each way. That is the potential to be sitting for about 10 hours per day, not counting when I sit and watch TV or sit in the car, at dinner, or at church in the evening, which is another 1 to 3 hours per day. Now I’m up to 12 hours of potential sitting per day. That leaves 12 hours, 7 – 9 of which I’m sleeping. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m doing those other 3 hours (1 hour in the AM getting ready for work and I guess another 1 – 2 hours doing home chores). Generally speaking, you can see that the majority of any given day…I have a large potential towards sitting.
About 4 years ago, I bought a FitBit to help me track my sleep, because my sleep quality was really poor. This is still one of my primary purposes that I use it for. BUT, this device shed light on how much movement was lacking in my day. I set a goal of 6,000 steps per day. I often times didn’t make it. As my health improved and my energy levels increased, I upped my step goal to 8,000 steps per day. I often times didn’t make it. I couldn’t figure out how so many people were making 10,000 steps per day happen. Over time of putting forth a little more consistent effort, by taking a 30 minute walk at lunch every day, I was hitting 8,000 steps most days. Yea for me, right!?!
The lofty goal of 10,000 steps per day was looming over me. Should I up my step goal? How would I make it happen? Would 2,000 more steps per day really make a difference??
The short of it is…..2,000 more steps per day DID make a difference.
I wanted to set myself up for physiological success, because I was a bit intimidated by 10,000 steps….I’m still not sure why; it seemed like a BIG number….I told myself that I would drink more water so I could get up and go to the bathroom more often during the day. I then decided to bring my lunch from home so that I could split up my lunch break into two 30 minute walks per day (once in the AM and once in the PM hours). Once I started hitting that 10,000 step goal every day, my brain switched…I was no longer intimidated. Success!
But did you notice??
Because I decided to face my fear of 10,000 steps and up my daily walking goal by 2,000 steps, which looking at that number now it seems insignificant, the extra 2,000 steps created 3 consistent healthy habits!
- I drink more water
- I prepare healthy meals at home instead of eating out
- I move more throughout my day
The new daily plan I had created to achieve my 10,000 step goal per day created overall healthier habits, which made my body healthier. I feel good physically and mentally (most days); the two 30 minute breaks in the day allow me to step away and alleviate stress. I look forward to my walks each day and feel like something is missing, if for some reason I don’t manage to get both of them in.
I think I can safely say that 10,000 steps per day has changed my health (and life) for the better.