Walking is, overall, one of the best activities you can do to achieve fitness. To get the most benefit, you need to take 10,000 steps a day (roughly 5 miles), which can be measured by a pedometer. A person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2000 and 3500 extra calories per week. Keep in mind that about half of your 10,000 steps can come from activities of everyday living.
Benefits of Walking
• Lowers decreases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and pain of osteoarthritis
• Helps battle depression and reduces stress
• Improves the quality of sleep and memory
• Helps to reach weight loss goals and maintain a healthy weight.
Steps During Everyday Living Activities Count!
• Walking to mow the lawn or gardening
• Taking the dog for a walk or pushing a stroller
• Spring cleaning! Housework such as mopping, sweeping, or vacuum cleaning floors; washing windows, etc.
• Participating in sports (biking, tennis, dancing, swimming, golfing – walking the course, etc)
As a part of your 10,000 steps a day, 30 consecutive minutes of walking is especially beneficial for your heart. Try to walk 30 minutes, 5 to 7 days per week. If you feel you don’t have the time or the endurance, break the 30 minutes into three sessions of 10 minutes each.
Building in Extra Steps to Reach 10,000
• Taking a morning and evening walk around your neighborhood
• Taking the steps instead of the elevator
• Take a walking break instead of a coffee break at work
• Park farther away from stores
• Volunteering for activities that involve walking (such as escorting family members to hospital units, etc.)
Staying Motivated to Keep Walking
• Keep track of your progress by wearing a pedometer.
• Walk with a friend.
• Wear a portable music player and listen to podcasts or your favorite music.
• Change your route; change your scenery.
• Challenge yourself. Set new goals. Increase the distance, time, and/or frequency of your walks.
Building Up to a 5k Walk/Run
Walking Outdoors in Central New York
The great thing about walking outdoors for exercise is that it's free! And one of the best aspects of living in Central New York is the wide variety of settings for walking and hiking. Check out the guides below and get moving!
MapWalk - is an interactive online tool that allows you to create and share walking routes you create, as well as track miles and calories.
HealthyMonday Syracuse - the popular national Monday Mile initiative, Syracuse style
CNYHiking - this site provides much information about the making walking and hiking opportunities in Central New York.
EveryTrail/Syracuse - this site provides information about unique walking and hiking trails in the CNY region.
Onondaga Creek Walk - a unique 2.6-mile urban trail that extends north and south of Syracuse's Inner Harbor