Get With the (10,000 Step) Program

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!


One of my many goals which I’m working on starting this January is be fit and trim… in the most frugal way possible.    


I recently learned of 10,000 Steps Program.  Studies have shown that a person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2,000 and 3,500 extra calories per week, resulting in a vastly better health profile and longer lifespan.  Two recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have confirmed that this lifestyle approach can be as effective as a traditional exercise program.


It should be noted that 10,000 steps is the recommended daily step goal for a healthy adult.  If your goal is to lose weight, start slow and gradually work yourself up to walking 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Walking is a great way to lose weight—and keep it off.   


For the past few days, I wore the pedometer I recently bought at JHC and discovered that I walk less than 5,000 days a day, placing me firmly in the “sedentary lifestyle index” bracket.  I suppose the continued advances in technology (and the continued popularity of high heels) makes our lifestyle more sedentary:  it will require a concerted effort to make active choices.


What equipment will you need?

1.     A pedometer.  It does not need to be fancy.  I found a perfectly functioning one at the Japan Home Center for only P88. Tip:   The pedometer should be worn in a location above the hip so that it can detect the leg movement.  I also learned that you can’t just stick it in your pocket but rather,  should firmly clip it to a belt or waistband around your waist in order for it to work properly.

2.     Sturdy shoes.  Preferably with plenty of cushion. If you have any concerns about your joints (ankles, knees or hips) discuss your exercise plans with your doctor.


These shoes were made for walking.. that’s just what we’ll do.

·         Start out by wearing the pedometer each day for two weeks and don’t do anything to change your normal routine.  Log your steps at the end of each day for the entire two-week period. What’s your daily average?

·         Take the highest number of steps you have walked on any given day and use that number of steps as your daily step goal.  Aim for your goal each day for the next two weeks. Let’s assume your first step goal is 2500 steps. That means that for the next two weeks, you are going to try to walk 2500 steps each day. Before bedtime each night, be sure to log in the number of steps you actually took.

·         At the end of that two-week period, review all the steps you took each day and decide if you are ready to add another 500 steps to your goal. Your new step goal is now 3000 steps a day for the next two-week period.

·         Continue in that manner, working up as slowly as you wish, until you finally reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day.

·         Check with your physician if you experience any pain or discomfort that concerns you. Remember, the goal is to keep you active for the rest of your life.  It’s better to be the tortoise than the hare.  =)

·         Be prepared to dedicate yourself to your daily goal each day for a minimum of six months. If you do that, you are much more likely to maintain this goal permanently.

But it’s soooo hard!!!!  Here are a few ideas on where to find those extra steps:

  • Park the car further away from the entrance to shops
  • Walk to get your lunch or go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Get up and do something…  walk to the water station to get more glasses of water…. walk and talk with a colleague instead of emailing.
  • Get your family and officemates involved. I’m reviving an old family tradition and going out for a walk with my son after dinner.  It solves the problem of looking for more steps but also provides a priceless bonding opportunity.

Well there you have it, a frugal way to achieve good health or to lose weight.  Just remember, put your pedometer on when you dress in the morning, and don’t take it off until bedtime. Every step you take counts!


For more information on the 10,000 Step Program go to:



Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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