With the holidays coming up, most of us worry about putting on a few pounds. With 64 percent of adults in the U.S. considered overweight, extra pounds are a year-round issue. But our small steps can add up in reversing the trend.
Working in the marketing department of Stormont-Vail, Julie Kilmartin often walks, be it around the hospital or between buildings. She says she considers herself fairly active. In addition to a job that has her on the move, she also walks an additional three miles a day.
Still, she was surprised at her numbers when 13 News asked her to wear a pedometer and count her steps for a couple days. Julie puts in more than 16,000 steps a day. It's a lot more than she thought and a lot more than most of us.
Bryan Rogers, an exercise physiologist at Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center, says 60 percent of the adult population is classified as sedentary, putting in fewer than 3000 steps a day.
He says a pedometer could be just the tool to get people up and moving. It allows them to see just how they're doing. Rogers says start by wearing a pedometer three days to count your steps, get a daily average and go from there.
For weight loss, Rogers says, walking two- to three- thousand extra steps a day, will burn 150 calories. 6000 extra steps a day, is 300 calories, which Rogers said would result in about one pound of weight loss a week.
Add those extra steps by parking further away, taking stairs instead of an elevator, doing yard work or even simply getting up to change the channel rather than using the remote.
Once you get going, you can up the intensity to give your heart a workout. Rogers suggests walking at a little faster place, using the stairs or taking a hilly route.
Beyond motivation, seeing her steps has given Julie peace of mind.
"I feel better about my activity level," she said.
One reminder, thought - Rogers said even if you add steps, you still need to burn off more calories than you take in.
The American Heart Association wants to help you get moving by giving away eight pedometers for us to give away. Names will be drawn to determine winners. If you're interested, send a post card to:
631 SW Commerce Place
Topeka, KS 66615
or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org