How to Become More Active…. Without Killing Yourself! By Crystal Smith, M.B.A., NASM CPT

 

How many steps have you taken today?

You ever want to become more active, but feel like you have to practically kill yourself to accomplish that task?  As if the desire to become more active is not enough?  Well, there is a method to the madness and I am here to break that down to you.  The ultimate goal here is to improve your overall well-being and health status over time.  So, let’s begin by doing the following: defining what it means to be more active, clarifying how to monitor your activity, and explaining how to increase activity without killing yourself while improving health status.

Defining activity…

Being active simply means to move more often through daily activity and physical exercise.  This is including but not limited to walking, jogging/running, housework like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and through fitness activities.  There are three recommended types of activity that you should include in your week.  Your activities should include aerobic, muscular strength, and stretching.

Monitoring activity…

One of the best ways to figure out how much you are moving now is to monitor your activity.  Activity can be monitored through a combination of how often you are moving throughout the day, how far or how many steps you may be taking, and your patterns of sleep activity.  My recommendation for monitoring your activity is to purchase an activity monitor that you can wear throughout your day.  It can monitor your daily activity habits, so that you can track how much you are moving and determine if you are moving enough.  Most activity monitors will monitor number of steps taken; calories burned, and sleep activity.  The most popular ones even remind you to move if you’ve been sitting too long and vibrate once you’ve reached a target number of steps.

Increasing activity…

So, you might be asking yourself, how much should I be moving?  Well, studies show that people who take 10,000 steps or more a day are considered active and are able to manage their weight better. Yes, you can manage weight by  just WALKING MORE!  For people who are considered sedentary and do not work out regularly, 10k steps is a great target and can help keep weight off.  However, if you are already active, then 10k steps may not be enough, but it is a good minimum target to maintain.  Just don’t go sabotaging your high activity with over consumption of food.

The goal is to wear your activity monitor and strive to take 10k steps every day. 10k steps are set as default on most activity monitors.   If you are on a budget, then start off with a simple pedometer ($30 or less) that can help you to track steps.  However, the most popular activity monitors would be your FitBit and Garmin Vivo Fit devices to help track steps and more.  Those devices can be worn all day and will track your steps, calories burned, and sleep.

Have fun with it!

Remember to have fun with your new goal of becoming more active and don’t overdo it!  Connect with family, friends, and co-workers to compete on who are taking more steps a day.  You can track each other’s steps online through using your devices and even post to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

Any questions?  You may contact Crystal Smith via email at crystal@crystalsfit.com