While daily exercise can help shed extra weight, it’s also vital for relieving stress, and enhancing strength and flexibility.
10,000 steps a day is often recommended by health experts as a good level of activity for a healthy adult. It equates to about eight kilometres, or one hour and 40 minutes walking, depending on your stride length and walking speed.
But, what about the weather? Admit it – you’d rather stay in the comfort of your own home snuggled up by the heater with a good book than go for a walk or run on a cold winter’s day. It’s only natural to think that way, but it’s all about finding alternatives.
From fitness DVDs to gentle weights and accidental exercise (i.e. cleaning the house), there are many ways to reach your 10,000 steps a day.
The SMILE team has put together a list of some great exercise alternatives for when you’re not yet ready to brave the cold.
Light Weight Lifting
No, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive weights for this! Just use whatever you can find in your house. Start out with something lighter, such as a can of peas, and work yourself up to heavier items. You can use milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles or even water bottles.
If you have a flight of stairs, go up and down them a few times. (You could even grab a load of laundry as you’re going that way anyway!)
Using the steps in your home, you can do repetitions which will stimulate your leg muscles. (Just remember to be careful!)
Fitness Walking DVDs
Jessica Smith http://jessicasmithtv.com
Leslie Sansone http://www.walkathome.com
Petra Kolber http://www.petrakolber.com
Kathy Smith https://www.kathysmith.com
You might even want to try SMILE’s DVD, DANCE That WALK with 5000 steps in one workout, or if you're feeling adventurous, give Dance That Walk - Cardio Party a go and do both workouts to get your 10,000 steps all done at once!
So, why bother? There are plenty of benefits for taking 10,000 steps a day. These include:
- Sense of achievement and satisfaction
- Improvement in confidence and mood
- Energy booster
- Maintenance of a healthy weight
- Improvement in blood cholesterol and blood pressure
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Aiding relaxation
- Reduction in the risk of heart attack
Do you have a busy schedule? Is the weather not to your liking? Don’t let that stop you from regular exercise! There are many wonderful alternatives to boosting your step count while having fun! So, what are you waiting for? Give them a go!