Young Couple Walking Dog     Are you taking 10,000 steps a day?

That’s the approximate amount of daily activity health experts recommend to help maintain a healthy weight, give your heart the workout it needs and reduce the risk of chronic disease and early death.

Ten thousand is the number of steps in about five miles of walking. On average, Americans take about 3,000-4,000 steps a day. Wearing a pedometer that counts steps may give you a better idea of whether you’re meeting the 10,000-step goal, and may even encourage you to move more.

Here are some activities you could add to gradually work up to 10,000 steps a day (the approximate number of steps is in parentheses):

  • Walk around your neighborhood for half an hour at a steady pace (about 3,000 steps).  Make a walking date with a friend, or take your dog along; they will benefit, too.
  • Take a 10-minute walk around the parking lot before work, shopping or appointments (about 1,000 steps).
  • Walk in place, or around the house, during every TV commercial (about 1,000 steps for a one-hour program).
  • Take stairs whenever you can (up to 500 steps).
  • Skip e-mail and walk to co-workers’ offices instead (up to 250 steps a day).
  • Waiting for a flight or train? Get up and walk instead of sitting (up to several thousand steps).
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot (up to 500 steps).
  • Pace around the house when you’re on the phone (up to 800 steps for a 10-minute conversation).

Feel like stepping up to the challenge? To get started, you might consider joining a walking rewards program like “Walk with Walgreens” and logging in your daily steps.

Like Uncle Wally’s on Facebook, if you haven’t already, and tell us about your progress!


SOURCE:;; UC Davis Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program.