Exercise. Ex-er-cise. Ex-errrr-ciiisssee. Out of breath yet? Sometimes, just thinking about being active is mentally exhausting. Why? Because follow-up questions tend to trail behind the statement, “I think I should do some exercise.” But what will you do? Drive to the gym and jump on the elliptical? Brush the dust off of the treadmill in your basement and hope that it still starts up? Maybe search for a personal trainer? We try to think of all these “extreme” measures that we believe will get us to our peak physical condition. But in reality, it’s the simplest tasks that can benefit our health the most.
And what would that be, you may wonder? Walking. What could help motivate you? A pedometer.
Yes, a pedometer. According to a new study that was completed by Gregory Kolt, head of the School of Science and Health at the University of Western Sydney in Penrith, Australia, 300 New Zealand seniors found that weekly walking times nearly doubled when they wore the devices, reports Florida Today.
The study tracked the walking rates for over a year of relatively non-active people aged 65 or older. Randomly separated into two groups, one received the pedometers to track their step-by-step movements, while the other did not. They were then asked to follow New Zealand’s “Green Prescription” for physical activity – an initiative aimed at getting people to engage of at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.
As a result, researchers found that those who wore the devices almost doubled their average weekly workout time, about 50 minutes per week, while older adults who were without remained at an average of 28 minutes. As a bonus, both groups experienced significant improvements in their blood pressure.
So why would the pedometers help to increase their activity levels? Well, according to Kolt, “wearing the device allows users to see how much physical activity they are accumulating through their general daily routines, upping the odds that they will stay with the routine.” And the best part is that pedometer’s are affordable devices that can easily be obtained.
So, I dare you to take the challenge. See how far you can go in a day, and then push yourself to walk further than you did the day before. All you can do is benefit from it and improve your quality of life. It’s a win-win situation.
(Motivation)Don’t believe the study? Then check out the 9 minute video below: “23 and ½ Hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” by Dr. Mike Evans, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. It certainly got me moving!