Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. Almost anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime. You don't need a lot of fancy or expensive equipment (though a good pair of shoes is important). You can do it alone or you can do it with a friend. Too icy and cold out? Just head over to the mall and put in a few laps. You can even sneak in a few minutes on your lunch.
They (those expert/science-y types) recommend that you walk 10,000 steps a day. Why 10,000 and not some other random number? Based on the average persons stride length, 10,000 steps is approx 5 miles (approx 8 km) and made for a nice even number. Most people who are just sitting around all day, using their car to get from place to place only walk about 3,000 steps a day. 10,000 is an attainable goal that still pushes the person to be active.
Walking works a lot of different muscles, some that you would expect like your calf muscles, hamstrings and your butt. But it also works your abdomen and your arms and shoulders so get those arms pumping while you move!
And all exercise can help with weight control, preventing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, depression and a whole host of other benefits. What's not to like about that?
We don't own a car, so we obviously walk a fair bit. But you know what? I rarely, if ever, reach 10,000 steps. On what I consider an active day I will hit around 7,500. Today though, I exceeded 10,000 - I'm at 11,324 as of 21:00 tonight. I was very conscious of the number of steps throughout the day and put in the effort to reach my goal. My bus/walk to work routine in the morning gets me nearly 4000 steps alone, but then I sit at a desk all day long. I made sure to get up every hour today and do one lap of the office, just under 200 steps, but everyone counts. Then a quick trip to the mall after work helped me get to that magic number.
My challenge to myself is to start out by hitting 10,000 steps at least 3 days a week. Once I can do that regularly, I'll up the ante and aim for 6 days a week. Hopefully once I get into the habit, it will simply become a routine part of my day.