Actually, by the time I went to sleep around midnight, I had reached 19,542 steps. Yes, that may be a record number of steps for me. I use the simple "pedometer" app on my phone to keep track.
Except for when my phone is charging, I have the phone on me, so every step counts. My rationale for that is that since every sip, taste or bite of a food counts for adding calories, then we shouldn't be shy about counting those steps, whether to the laundry room, refrigerator or even the loo.
When you're setting up* your pedometer, make sure that it's sensitive enough to count all those very short "walks." Once after a few hours in a museum, I discovered that although I had done a lot of walking, my pedometer had ignored most of it, since they were short walks from picture to picture, exhibit to exhibit.
I know that the 10,000 steps a day benchmark has been pooh poohed as not very significant, but that's not really true. Once you start keeping track of your steps, you'll discover your own personal benchmarks, and for many people, davka, 10,000 steps is a good number to aim for and later top.
As you may know, I'm no youngster, and I'm overweight and not in perfect shape. So managing almost twenty thousand 20,000 steps in one day is quite impressive, as is my average, which recently has been twelve thousand 12,000 or more. Friends ask me how I do it, without damaging myself.
If you look at yesterday's record, you'll see that I was on my feet most of the day, didn't walk all that quickly and only had three "long" walks. And, thank Gd, it all added up.
Below is a more "average day," and you can see that I was quite sedentary for quite a long period of time. Two long walks of about 4,000 steps each, one at a really good pace, made up for two-thirds of the day's step total. That means that I got in over an hour of good physical activity that day.
The key to my approach is to exercise in small quantities, not to strain the body at all. If you're not in good shape, from injury, age, illness whatever, it's very important not to risk injury. But it's also extremely important to maximize activity. For many, that's a very fine line.
One of my big problems is that I hate exercising alone, whether walking, floor or more aerobic exercise. Ironically, I had once been an exercise teacher, and I know what we should be doing all too well. I just need the added socializing to do it. Listening to classes, music whatever does make walking a bit better, but I can always walk longer and more quickly with partners. To help, I opened a small whatsapp group. Our aim is to walk twice a day. Almost always I'm the nudge writing:
"Anybody able to walk tonight/tomorrow morning? Please, pretty please..."
I don't always find someone, but not only does it help me, my friends enjoy it, too. Instead of chatting over coffee and cake, or not seeing each other at all, we really enjoy our friendly walks. There are people who use the walking time to talk on the phone, but to get full benefit, swing your arms and get a "headset" if you're going to have a "long distance partner." One of my walking buddies uses walking sticks to be steadier and give more upper body workout.
What do you do to make fitness more fun and doable?
*You also must get your step length accurate. A good way of doing it is to actually count ten or twenty steps in your head while walking and then check if the pedometer agrees. If the pedometer says you've taken more steps, then increase length; decrease if it doesn't credit you with enough steps.