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10,000 Steps Daily

How many steps do you take each day?

May 13, 2015

Little River County, Ark. –

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.  We all know that exercise is recommended for health, but we need to make sure we find ways to enjoy our exercise. For children, physical activity helps to increase muscular fitness and bone health while growing strong.  Adults need at least 30-60 minutes of regular physical activity to help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Sometimes we think that as we age we need less activity. Actually, this is not true at all. Older adults need at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity to help maintain balance, flexibility and help to prevent falls.  Physical activity helps to improve everyone’s ability to learn and think clearly.  Exercise also helps with mental health, if you are feeling down try to walk more or get more activity in your day to boost your mood and self-esteem!  It is not easy to be active 60 minutes per day but every step counts.

Speaking of counting steps, why is the goal 10,000 steps per day?  On average, most people are sedentary (not active) and take about 1,000-3,000 steps per day.  If you take up to 7,500-9,999 steps per day that is considered somewhat active. Over 10,000 steps taken per day makes you an active person. The average person has a stride of 2.5 feet therefore 10,000 steps per day is equal to about 5 miles. Now, that is a lot of steps! Most people will start off in the sedentary category, but try adding an extra 500-1,000 steps per day for the next week and slowly increase your activity over the next month or two until you reach the goal of 10,000 steps per day. Every step counts! You take steps when you walk in the grocery store, clean your house, work in the garden, and even when you are dancing. Do what you enjoy and make exercise fun.

You can purchase a pedometer if you would like to see how many steps you take each day. There are some free applications that you can download for your phone to help track your steps. One example would be the MyFitness Pal application that is free to download.  Just use the search feature on your phone application store to find a free step tracker that works for you. The most important thing is to keep moving for health!

Here are some healthy snacks you can enjoy to give you carbohydrates and protein to give you the fuel for your activity.

  • Apple or banana with 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • Slice of low-fat cheese or string cheese with a piece of fruit
  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter with 6 whole grain crackers
  • ¼ cup of trail mix or homemade trail mix

Senior Get Fit participants meet at UA Cossatot in Ashdown each Tuesday and Thursday to exercise from 10-11 AM. Call 870-898-7224 if you would like an exercise class that meets on a different day or at a different time of the day to fit your schedule.

By Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
1411 N Constitution Ave Ashdown AR 71822
(870) 898-7224

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