More and more, people are leading sedentary, inactive lifestyles. It is partly due to the nature of the work force these days, partly due to our culture and partly due to the natural urge for luxury and ease.
For the next 8 weeks I am challenging myself to become 25% more active. I am doing this for myself and for my family (and for the health insurance rebate). My company is doing a health initiative. It was optional, but those of us who signed up got a pedometer to track how active we are. We also got a list of activities and how many steps those activities translate into in steps. There were two ways to participate in this challenge: you could sign up by active time (for exercise, sports etc) or you could go with the number of steps. I chose a blend of the two. I am not doing this to lose weight. I am actually back down to my pre-pregnancy weight now of about 135lbs. I am doing this for my health and to help counteract my sedentary lifestyle.
So, I want to challenge everyone else out there to look at your activity, either in time spent doing something or in steps. See how active you actually are.
Usually you want to exercise at least 30minutes a day. Exercise being something that stimulates your cardiovascular system and muscles: walking, running, swimming, sports, weight lifting, etc. Or you want to set a goal for the number of “steps” you take every day. 2,500 or less steps a day is considered very inactive. Up to 5,000 is considered inactive or “average”. Up to 7,500 steps is moderately active, up to 10,000 is Active and anything above that is considered Very Active. I have a personal goal to reach on average 8,000 steps a day.
Now, there are activities that count for extra steps: housecleaning (75-140 steps per minute), yoga (100 steps per minute), mowing (135 steps per minute), washing the car (75 steps per minute). I have a massive list of these, but on average, an activity is anywhere from 50-200 steps per minute. Sports count as more obviously.
Just by wearing the pedometer for a day, I am encouraged to walk more, use the stairs (200 steps per minute), and just get up from my desk and be more active. Even just a walk around my building helps. I do this a couple times a day and it not only helps me focus more on my work, but also helps me to be active.
What are your goals for activity?