While there are a number of ways to get active, one of the biggest challenges we face is finding ways to maintain our fitness goals. Both motivation and accountability play huge roles in exercise adherence, so the question becomes how do we achieve this? The answer may be a bit different for everyone but creating a goal is often the first step. We have decided to team up with our community and create a group goal of walking one million steps! Beginning on March 3th, 2018, our goal is to walk 10,000 steps every day for 100 days.
There are so many health benefits to walking. It not only helps with weight management but can also help your cardiovascular health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol. For improved overall cardiovascular health the American Heart Association recommends performing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, 5 days a week1. Studies have even shown walking to assist with overall mood, depression, and anxiety2, which could improve your sleep and quality of life.
If this isn’t enough to get you motivated, another strategy is to get outside and surround yourself with nature. Spending time walking outdoors has been shown to help improve mood, decrease stress, anger, and depression3. Planning walks in nature with a friend or family member is an excellent opportunity to create accountability for yourself while providing a social outlet.
If you’d like to get involved with our One Million Step Challenge, come into our clinic anytime between February 26th and March 2nd to register and pick up a packet designed to help you keep track of your goals. In the spirit of motivation, we will be providing prizes as incentive for our top finishers. Visit the One Million Step Challenge webpage for official rules and more information.
1. American Heart Association: Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults
2. Guszkowska M. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood. Psychiatria Polska. July 2004:611-620.
3. Barton J, Hine R, Pretty J. The health benefits of walking in greenspaces of high natural and heritage value. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences. 2009;6(4):261-278.