STEPS THROUGH TIME
“Walking is the best possible exercise.Thomas Jefferson
Habituate yourself to walk very far.”
“Hey Meriwether, I think I see the Pacific Ocean! Check your Fitbit and see how far we have been.” Meriwether replies, “William, it looks like we have taken 6,786,253 steps! I am tired but I sure do feel great!”
By the time Lewis and Clark arrive back in Missouri after exploring and mapping the recently purchased Louisiana territory, they will have taken the equivalent of over 14 million steps. Over their 2 year and 4-month journey in the early 1800’s, they average the equivalent of 16,279 steps a day.
Two hundred years ago, men, women and children did a lot of walking or horseback riding, both of which expend a good amount of energy. Don’t you think they would laugh if the were able to look in the future and see people having to join gyms to exercise or that the federal government needed to advise them to exercise more!
Well, that is what has happened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states:
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Following these guidelines can contribute to overall health, and decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
Walking is a great way to get the physical activity needed to obtain health benefits. Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment.
So how does one start? One popular suggestion is to gradually increase the number of steps you take a day to a goal of 10,000 steps a day. Steps can easily be measured by apps found on many smart phones or purchasing a simple pedometer at a sporting store. Measure your daily steps for one week and determine your average steps. Then try to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. For more information on walking check out www.thewalkingsite.com. If you have medical conditions, check with your physician before starting or increasing your physical activity.
Walking is a great way to meet neighbors, connect with your kids without electronic distraction, exercise your dog, enjoy the beauty of this region, hold a unique meeting, and to feel good about yourself.
Lewis and Clark went on a mega walk that made quite an impact on this country. There is no better time than right now for you to go on a walk and see what you can discover. It just might be a healthier you!