Who would say that is healthier – people living in compact urban areas or people living in the suburbs? According to a recent study that was published by RAND corporation, people living in compact urban areas are significantly healthier than people living in suburban areas. The reason is simple – people in urban areas usually walk a lot more than people in suburban areas. When you think about, it makes sense – in suburban areas you don’t have a market or a coffee shop right across your home or one block down – it is usually located a few miles away from your home, forcing you to go there with your car, which means that if you are living in suburbs you spend more time in your car.
What can you do to fight this problem? Well, the solution is quite simple – just walk more. Another study has shown that average adult American walks around 5,000 steps a day, which is just half of the recommended 10,000 steps that are “required” for good health. How to count every step you make every day? It is impossible! That is why there are pedometers – gadget designed to count every step you make by sensing your body moving.
Pedometers are not expensive – they start from $5 a piece or you could even get them for free by joining some sponsored walking club. Like every gadget, even pedometers can have multiple features – heart rate monitor (especially handy if you plan to start running), stopwatch, steps per minute, flip case (to prevent accidentally clicking any button), calorie expenditure estimator, computer connection, distance and speed estimators. Many of these features can really come in handy when you start measuring every step, especially for competitive people. When buying a pedometer, try to choose one that is not too big or bulky, in order for it to be comfortable to wear.
When you start using pedometer, you will see how motivating it can be – let’s say you have reached 9,500 steps one day – you will surely try to find a way to walk another 500 steps just to complete the goal of 10,000 steps for that day. If you, however, find it difficult to achieve 10,000 steps every day, we have some ideas how you could squeeze in a few hundred steps more, which can add up to a lot every day:
- Take a longer walk during the Fall and Winter months – even though summer is behind, you should not go right into hibernation. Instead try to go for a longer walks around your block.
- Take the stairs – you have heard this tip too many times, but it is still effective – instead of using the elevator take the stairs.
- Take some time to clean your house – cleaning your house is a boring chore, but in terms of steps it could make you walk a lot more than you usually do.
- Don’t park right in front of the market or coffee shop – instead, park a little further in order to take a few more steps.