Have you ever purchased one of the leading fitness magazines (i.e. Shape, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Fitness) because they featured an article on how you can get your best body ever in just 20 minutes a day? Or even less? Did you follow the plan demonstrated on the pages by the lean and ripped fitness models and come up with less than stellar results? That’s because exercise is NOT enough when it comes to getting real results. What the hell right? I know what you are thinking – this chic is crazy – she is a personal trainer who is saying exercise isn’t enough. Yep – crazy as charged!
Let’s get real for a minute – there is a HUGE difference between exercising and being physically active. Getting fitter, leaner, and healthier all require an active lifestyle AS WELL AS committing to purposeful and regular exercise.
Want proof? You know that coworker/friend/family member…. who works out 6 times a week, tells you all about it, but complains they never lose an inch? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming them and I’d be frustrated too! More likely than not, they have fallen victim to the endless number of promises made by media, inadequate trainers, and the like who swear you can get fitter by “working out” for x minutes a day.
So should you stop working out? Hell no. You need to move your bum throughout the rest of the day, too! Programs that create step goals, for example, are right on the money. Work out and walk 10,000 steps a day and you will see much better results. Work out, walk 10,000 steps a day and eat right and you will be killing it! But that’s a whole other blog for a whole other day.
The Magic Number: 10,000
So why 10,000 steps? Recent studies have concluded that individuals taking under 5,000 steps a day are considered sedentary, and at a higher risk for early death, disease, and being overweight. In comparison, those who take 10,000 steps a day are considered active. They have lower body weights, less fat, and improved health. (Source: John Berardi, PhD; Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD)
How can you increase the number of steps you take each day? You already know the answer to this: take the stairs, park further away from stores and work then you normally do, walk around while you talk on the telephone, take short walk breaks at work, walk to work if you can, etc.
How can you tell if you are getting enough steps in? The easiest way is to wear a pedometer. You don’t need a super fancy model that costs an arm and a leg. A basic model costs around $20.00, clips on to your belt or shoe and gets you off on the right foot (pun intended). Can’t afford a pedometer? I bet you could if you stopped buying magazines that make promises they can’t keep!