Today, April 8, is the American Heart Association's National Start! Walking Day. The association urges all employees to bring their sneakers to work and walk 30 minutes today, preferably with their coworkers. The AHA points out that walking is good for your heart, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and sense of well-being.
A recent study found that people who wear a pedometer walk about 2,000 more steps a day or about another mile than those who don't. That burns about 100 extra calories a day. If your goal is to lose weight, you probably need to work up to 12,000 or more steps a day.
How to get a pedometer
The non-profit America On the Move is offering USA TODAY readers a special deal of two pedometers for $14.95 at dietchallenge.usatoday.com and americaonthemove.org or by calling 877-866-8663.
To increase your steps:
• Take 100 steps around your office or home about every hour. Program your computer to remind you when it's time to take a break.
• At the office, don't e-mail or call anyone within 400 feet of you. Instead, walk to that person and give him the message or information.
• Take the long way to the restroom.
• Take a couple of quick laps around the mall before you start shopping.
• Walk one city block, about 200 steps.
• Take a brisk walk during your lunch break for about 20 minutes or so, about 2,000 steps.
• Walk four laps around the track at a high school, 2,000 steps.
• Play basketball game for 30 minutes, more than 4,300 steps.
• Low-impact aerobic dancing for 20 minutes, more than 2,500 steps.
• Play soccer for 60 minutes, equal to 8,000 to 10,000 steps.
--By Sue Kelly, USA TODAY