One big STEP towards taking 10,000 steps a day!

The notion of walking 10,000 steps everyday can be daunting for many. The mere thought of such a large number can be enough to stop you in your tracks! Pedestrian beware. It’s that negative self-talk that is the culprit stopping us before we even get started!

Before you get stopped in your tracks again, let’s think this through . . . are you an able bodied individual who uses walking as a regular mode of transportation to get from point A to point B?

If you answered yes, then your body is capable of walking 10,000 steps. Maybe not all at once, but over the course of the day adding up all your steps may surprise you.

Goals are important when starting any new fitness routine. Events like the upcoming Little Big Run can act as a catalyst to help us get active after a long winter.

You may not have realized it, but your body is half way there. Physically you have the capacity to step, so now you just need to shift your brain (the other 50%) into its “Can do” gear, put the dimmer switch on your negative self-talk and away you go!

To help arm you for walking success, here are a few pointers to sustain you for the long haul!

Set a goal and keep your eyes on the prize!
Walking for health is great but, adding a measurable goal or purpose to your activity creates a short term incentive to strive for. For example, register yourself in a 5 km walk/running event this spring like, The Little Big Run (LBR), Sunday, May 30. Ready – set create a plan!

Get to it . . . Plan a strategy, create your plan!
On average people can walk a 9 minute kilometer or a 15 minute mile pace. Based on this info, you can realistically expect to complete a 5 km walk in about 45 minutes. Start slow and increase your walking time over the 6 weeks leading up to the event.

Here’s a sample 6 week progression that will get you to a 5 km walking distance (assuming that you will be committed to doing a training walk four times per week).

Week Mon. Weds. Fri. Sun.

1

15 min 15 min 20 min 20 min

2

20 min 20 min 25 min 25 min

3

25 min 30 min 30 min 30 min

4

30 min 30 min 35 min 35 min

5

35 min 35 min 40 min 45min

6

40 min 45 min 40 min LBR

Stay on track!
Be consistent and pick 2 – 3 enjoyable walking routes. Make a date with a friend or family member/s to go for regular walks. This is a great way to keep you motivated and accountable to your program.

Patience!
Don’t expect to get there in a day or a week. Give your body time to adapt and gradually build up your endurance to walking the longer distances.

Walking with friends, family will help you to stay motivated and accountable.

To learn more on how to create a successful walking program, at Active Edmonton’s next free event, Wed. April 14, at City Hall from 12:10 – 12:55 pm. Visit www.edmonton.ca/activedmonton for details. If you joined us for our Annual Winter Walk or Yoga in City Hall, this is the natural next step to help you to continue to live a healthy lifestyle.

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About the Author
Dot Laing
Dot Laing MA (Phys. Ed), AFLCA Trainer, Certified Exercise Physiologist, has many years of health, wellness, and fitness experience and feels very fortunate to be living her passion everyday at work and at play! Currently, Dot works for the City of Edmonton and coordinates the Active Edmonton program; a health promotion resource that helps Edmontonians to Get Up, Get Out, and Get Active! www.activedmonon.ca
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