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Some thoughts from Tara and Henry…

Week 2 – Use a pedometer

So how did last week go? I found that over the holidays I really didn’t keep my proper fluid intake. This week was challenging. I needed to use visual cues (like my water glass) to remind me to drink. It is a bit better this week. I feel more thirsty again if I haven’t had enough.

So on to the next challenge – use a pedometer.

This challenge can be for anyone but especially for those looking to increase their activity level. Sometimes regular exercise sessions can be a challenge. A pedometer is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that can help you increase your physical activity levels. We know that increased physical activity has tremendous health benefits. In fact, regular moderate activity (brisk walking for 30 minutes most days) was associated with a 27% decrease in mortality compared with no activity. A recent study found that pedometer users actually increased their regular physical activity by almost 27% over the baseline. That alone helped decrease the participants BMI and blood pressure.

Now, one of the issues with a pedometer is they are not able to measure your activity intensity. (A heart rate monitor is much better for that.) So, some research has been done to try to figure out how many steps per minute equals what intensity.

So here it is, the magic number……

100 steps per minute = moderate intensity.

It is recommended to spend 150 minutes per week doing moderate intensity exercise. So to achieve that you would need to walk a minimum of 3000 steps in 30 minutes five days a week (or 3 episodes of 1000 steps in 10 minutes).

How many steps do you take in a day? Wear your pedometer every day for a week and see what your daily average is.

Now see if you can add in one 10 minute session of 1000 steps 3 times in the week.  Spend the next week seeing where you are and work to increase that number by 1000. After that spend the next week increasing that value by another 1000 and then another until you have added in 3000 extra steps.

Remember, all journeys begin with the first step!

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