I kept reading that, as a minimum of activity for good health, people should aim to take 10,000 steps each day. Also 10,000 daily steps reportedly keeps most people from gaining weight.
Living in New York, I felt like I walked miles every day. But did I? Should I be walking more?
I decided to try wearing a pedometer. I read that the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 and SW-701 were very reliable, so in January I ordered one on-line and have been wearing it for a while now.
I discovered that on days when I did a fair amount of walking—walked the Big Girl to school and walked to the gym, for example—I hit 10,000 easily. On days when I ran around the apartment, I barely cleared 3,000. (One odd thing: I keep reading that 10,000 steps is about five miles. For me, it looks like it’s more like four miles. Not sure what to make of that.)
Now, is wearing a pedometer making me walk more? Absolutely. One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the gold star, the recognition. This negative quality has a benefit in this circumstance; because the pedometer gives me credit for making an extra effort, I’m more likely to do it. This morning I’d planned to take the subway to my dentist’s appointment in mid-town, but as I walked out the door, it occurred to me to walk, to get credit for the steps.
Walking is also great for thinking. All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. Nietzsche. Nietzche’s observation is backed up by science; studies show that exercise-induced brain chemicals help people think clearly. Also, just being outside helps with thinking. Even five minutes of daylight stimulates production of serotonin and dopamine.