Walking Workouts for a Greener Planet
Walk More and Drive Less
We're lucky that FITNESS's offices are located in New York City, one of the most stroll-friendly cities in the country. By lunchtime, most of our staff will have walked at least a mile. But you don't have to be in a city to get your feet moving. Try these tips from Mark Fenton to work more sneaker time into your day.
- If you live in the suburbs, think about all the places you visit in a typical week or month -- the ATM, the post office, your friends' or your children's friends' houses, convenience stores. If they fall within a one-mile radius of your home, vow to walk to them instead of driving. Not sure how far away they are? Find a map of your community (try maps.google.com). "You'd be surprised how many places are really walkable," says Fenton.
- If you live in the country, it's often more practical to link your errands together, driving to a downtown area to bank, grocery shop, and go to the hardware store. "Park in a central location and turn at least two of those trips into a walk," says Fenton.
- If you live in the city, strap on a pedometer and watch your step count grow. One recent study found that most subjects who wore a pedometer walked at least a mile more each day. The key, says Fenton, is to determine how much you walk on an average day, then increase that number by about 20 percent each week. If you typically walk 5,000 steps a day, add 1,000 steps a day for the first week, then walk 7,200 steps a day the second week and 8,600 steps a day during week three. By the end of the month, you'll be walking 10,000 steps (about five miles) a day.
People given a pedometer walked at least a mile more each day. We like the ultra-thin Sportline ThinQ.
originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2008.
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