How many steps will you walk today? You don't know? What, you don't have a pedometer yet? People who have a number in mind (and track it with a pedometer) walk a whole lot more than people who don't have one. Studies prove it. Honest.
The best number to go for is 10,000. That's not that many more than you're probably already taking. Most people log between 3,500 and 5,000 steps daily just by looking for the remote, double-checking that they fed the dog and otherwise going about their days. Even if you take 5,000 steps throughout the day—about 2.5 miles—experts (and even we YOU docs) consider you to be less than minimally active, or what our research friends politely term sedentary. But the good news is that if you're doing that much without even trying, it's not going to be that hard to bump up to the amount that counts when it comes to making your RealAge younger.
Research shows that people who kept the 10,000-step goal in mind literally walked the extra mile, logging about 2,000 extra steps a day. Wear a pedometer and experiment. How close to your goal do you get by taking the long way to the cafeteria or the produce section of the grocery store? Dr. Mike parks his car in the indoor lot that's farthest from his office at the Cleveland Clinic.
Those extra milers also lost weight and improved their blood pressure. Do it and bring on other benefits: Walking lowers lousy LDL, raises healthy HDL and decreases inflammation. And our favorite: It makes you feel great.
For more from the YOU Docs, visit RealAge.com.
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