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The Right Steps Toward Disease Prevention

The Right Steps Toward Disease Prevention

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The first step in the right direction is to get a pedometer. A pedometer is a great little device that measures how many steps a person takes in a day. They cost just a few dollars and easily clip to a person’s belt or waistband. At our practice, we ask our patients to wear a pedometer from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed. They then write down their number of steps each day so we can accurately track where they are in their level of activity.

Once you have your pedometer in place, it’s time to start increasing your number of steps. The first goal we usually set for our patients is to move from 3,000 steps a day to 6,000. This is the break-even point. Taking 6,000 steps a day is just about 3 miles. At this point you are burning about the same number of calories you are taking in if you are eating an average diet. The next goal is to increase from 6,000 steps a day to 10,000. At 10,000 steps you are walking about 5 miles and are actually burning more calories than you are taking in. If you are intent on losing weight, this is the level that you want to attain.

Now, if you are already in pretty good shape, you may want to measure your activity by the number of minutes you exercise each week instead of the number of steps you take daily. If you are jogging, working out with weights, doing yoga or Pilates, or training for triathlons or marathons, the duration and intensity of your activity is going to equate to a different amount of calories burned.

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