Approaching Fitness One Step at a Time

For some people, fitness seems to come naturally. From the time they take their first steps, they seem to hit the ground running. They are constantly involved in group sports and hitting the gym whenever they don’t have a practice. There’s nothing wrong with this level of activity. In fact, it’s what our bodies were designed for. If you look at the lifestyle of our early ancestors, say in the ate Paleolithic era, you can see that our habits have changed quite a bit. Some might argue that this is the basis of evolution: we change. But saying something like that is like saying we, as a society, have a penchant for chronic disease. We sure seem to, but if we just got off the couch once in awhile, we’d feel and function a whole lot better.

Remember this as you’re walking from class to class: fitness isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. You don’t need to jump in with both feet. Just take those feet and move them every once in awhile. The more you exercise, the more natural it will feel to you. Start by purchasing a pedometer. You can get them pretty cheap at online retailers like Amazon or even Overstock. A pedometer counts the steps you take in a day. Experts suggest that we get at least 10 thousand steps in before our heads hit the pillow at night. This may sound like a lot, but you’d really be surprised at how many steps you take in a day without even realizing it. If you go to a large school, for example, you may take a few thousand steps just going from class to class. But, the purpose of getting a pedometer isn’t just to count the steps you’re already taking. It’s to motivate you to take more and more steps throughout the day.

Here are some suggestions for getting more steps in without feeling overburdened with exercise:

  • Take an mp3 player with you wherever you go. You’re more likely to want to keep walking while you’re listening to a great song.
  • Walk to school instead of taking a bus or car, if you live within two or three miles of campus.
  •  Get off the couch and pace around the house while you talk on the phone. Believe it or not, these extra steps count!
  •  Find a walking buddy and plan an evening stroll. This way, you can catch up with a friend while getting your exercise.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible.

Once you reach your goal of 10 thousand steps per day, see how many more you can add until you max out. Of course, there’s only so much time in a day, and you spend every minute of it walking. For example, you can’t exactly walk around the room while your professor is lecturing (that only works when you take online classes). But, you can have some fun trying to figure out how active you really can be with minimal effort. I’d really love to know – what’s your walking limit?

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