10,000 Steps

Along with the (relatively) recent popularity of health/fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone has come the general advice that one should try to walk 10,000 steps a day. (That’s about 5 miles, or 1 hr 30 mins of walking at my pace).

Given that I’m not taking ballet class regularly at the moment (during the year it was too expensive to take more than one class a week, when I was used to it being free, and now that the academic year is over the classes have stopped), I’ve been trying to work 10,000 steps into my daily routine.

Let me tell you: it’s been great.

It’s not super strenuous exercise, but it does get you moving; since the alternative is a day spent in the library in front of my computer that’s very appealing. Plus, that walking time is perfectly useful for catching up on my podcasts; since audio is not my natural medium, it helps to keep me focused if I also have something interesting (i.e. changing scenery) to look at. Alternatively, walking time is good brainstorming time. Many a thorny plot problem can be worked out on a walk — especially if you have someone to talk it through with.

Cambridge is particularly nice to walk around in. Depending on how long I’d like to walk, there are a couple of routes I’ve put together which can be linked up in various ways. This is the advantage of having so much field so near town. At home I’d be a little harder pressed to find cows, though I prefer walking down NYC sidewalks to walking through the Cambridge town center (especially on the weekends), and if I want green I can take a nice loop through Central Park. Regardless,  I recommend having multiple possible routes and changing it up regularly to keep from getting bored.

I don’t use a Fitbit or anything like that to track my steps. I’m not that hardcore. But the Health app on the iPhone actually has a built in pedometer — it will track your walking in steps or distance, and show you the results in pretty charts. Since my phone is basically an extension of my person and goes everywhere with me, this works really well.

In sum: I like walking; 10,000 steps is a good amount to walk if you can (great for procrastinating on dissertations!); iPhones are pretty snazzy.

Anybody else walk 10,000 steps a day? Or have an alternative exercise plan to share?

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