Jan
13
2008

Walk Your Way to Health: a 12,000-Step Program

Some boring shoes: For walking.
Some boring shoes: For walking.Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
So you plan on getting yourself all healthy just by walking around? That’s a pretty good plan, I suppose. But just how much did you think you’d be walking?

10,000 steps a day? What? Are you dense? Obviously! Dense and overweight! 10,000 steps! Unbelievable…

I’ve been saying for years that 10,000 steps a day is no way to walk yourself skinny, and now I’ve got the backing of an international collection of researchers. According to a group of fourteen scientists from the U.S., Canada, Australia, France and Sweden, to effectively manage your weight through walking, one has to take “more than 10,000 steps a day.” Duh.

Specifically, the researchers think that something like 12,000 steps a day should help manage your weight. The step-counters go on to say that the best way of meeting this number and shaking its sweaty little hand is to keep a stepping journal, and to set goals for yourself. Boring.

Who has the time to keep a step journal? I have so many journals already (dreams, cooking ideas, angry thoughts, sketches of me with various celebrities). I have a better method. Just go straight for the 12,000, but split it up in to chunks you can deal with.

Think about it like this: What are the most important locations for you on an average day? The couch and the bathroom, of course. For me, it’s about 36 steps from the couch to the bathroom and back (40 steps if the dog gets in my way). That means, for me to get my recommended 12,000 steps every day, I just need to remember to get up and go to the bathroom 334 times each day! What could be more simple?

I also encourage a high-fiber diet if you follow my method. And lots of fluids. And cable TV.

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