• Betsy,
    We’ve been parking further and walking while on vacation here in NM. I miss your Zumba in the Pool though!!

    Thanks for the post,
    Deborah Matteson

    From Debbie M.
    July 19, 2012

Taking the Extra Step

From Betsy Hood, Program Intern

Are you taking that extra step in your day? You may ask yourself, why take the extra step when I already workout? As we grow in a society that tends to make life’s tasks easier for us, we also tend to slack on the amount of physical activity we do. Therefore, we sometimes end up taking the easy way out. In the long run that can really add up. I would like to challenge you to think about how you could take that extra step in your day to not only increase your incidental activity (activity outside of working out), but to also help protect your health.

For most of us we feel like we run around constantly, whether that is to go get groceries, pick up the kids from school, or work all day. That does require movement, but think about this: have you ever sat in a parking lot and waited for the person in the front row to pull out? They just got to their car, still have a whole cart of groceries to load, but you’re supper excited because you’re going to get a front row parking spot. We have probably all been guilty of this a time or two, but in the time you waited to get your awesome parking spot you could have parked at the very end of the parking lot and walked in. Think about how many more steps you could have taken by parking at the end of the lot compared to the front row. Not to mention, you don’t run the high risk of door dings on your vehicle if you park way out in no man’s land. The extra step it took you to walk in and out of the store definitely adds up in your amount of daily activity. Your body is a machine that needs to be used, so don’t be afraid to use it.


What is the better choice?

As stated above, we live in a society that has made it easier to cut down on physical activity. For that matter, it is up to you to make a change. We’ve all heard the saying “every little bit counts,” so make it count! Every step and every minute that you have the opportunity to move do so. So your question may be; what else can I do to increase my incidental activity? Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Don’t just watch your kids/grandkids play, but play with them
  • Bike or walk to work if applicable
  • Get up to change the channel
  • Sit on a stability ball at work instead of a chair
  • Push mow the lawn
  • Hand wash your car
  • Get off the bus or taxi a couple blocks early and walking
  • Clean the house
  • Stand up and walk around while talking on the phone
  • Cook dinner instead of going out or ordering take in
  • Walk your dog

 All these ideas and more can help increase our fitness level and our overall health. So if every little bit counts, then it’s safe to say a lot of these decisions throughout your day can add up to make a huge difference. I challenge all of you to think about what you can do differently in your day to increase your activity level outside of working out. Remember to not always take the easy way out. Go out there and get moving!

Check out Lisette’s post on using a Fitbit as encouragement to add more steps to your day.

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