“I walk. A lot,” I replied.
“No. I mean exercise. Walking doesn’t really count.”
While impressed that a general practitioner would take the time to ask a patient about their workout habits, I have been forever disturbed by her disbelief in walking as exercise.
I was reminded of this instance recently as a friend asked me if taking her half an hour break to walk around outside counted as exercise.
My answer? Every time you move your body, it counts! Whether you take an extra flight of stairs or walk a mile at lunch, you are getting exercise that benefits your lungs, heart, waistline and more. Walking is a great way to get started, especially since it is low impact and functionally sound.
This week, my friend decided to take her walking one step further: she’s been wearing a pedometer … and on her first day of tracking her steps she went over 11,000! The recommendation is at least 10,000 per day.
A pedometer is a small mechanism that clips to the waistband of your pants, and keeps track of how many steps you take. It counts by tracking each bounce created by your hips, so take it off when riding in the car.
For a free pedometer of your own, join Tylenol Arthritis Pain Relief’s Keep Moving Program and receive one along with a DVD.
Step counters are also available for purchase at sporting goods, health, and other stores. If you spend more money, you get more reliability and more functions (such as calories burned, time, etc.).