Embrace Walking as Part of the Mediterranean Diet

When you combine your Mediterranean diet with a physical activity like walking, you can boost your overall health even more. Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do, and walking 10,000 steps a day (in addition to getting in some resistance training, like weight lifting) can be all the daily exercise you need to stay healthy.

The idea of walking 10,000 steps a day may seem like a huge, unattainable goal, but you may be surprised at how easy it can be to achieve. All of your steps count.

Follow this strategy to work yourself up to 10,000 steps a day:

  1. Buy a pedometer, a device that you wear on your waist that counts each step you take.

    You don't need a fancy one with a lot of bells and whistles. You just need to be able to count your steps.

    If you don't have a pedometer, use the following conversions:

    • 1 mile = 2,100 average steps

    • 1 block = 100 average steps

    • 10 minutes walking = 1,200 steps on average

  2. Do your usual amount of exercise each day for seven days.

    Record the steps at the end of the day and reset the button on the pedometer to zero.

  3. After seven days, add up the steps and divide by seven to get your daily count.

    You will probably find that you are doing between 3,000 and 5,000 steps a day. Use this as your baseline.

  4. To build up your daily number, add a few hundred steps a week.

    Use the catchy phrase "10k a day" to remind yourself to do extra walking to reach 10,000 steps.

Here are some suggestions to help you reach your 10,000-steps-a-day goal:

  • Get a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers and replace them when they begin to wear out.

  • Leave your car parked. If you can make a trip in an hour or less by foot, save your gas money and add substantially to your daily step count.

  • Find an exercise buddy to walk with you. It's much more fun.

  • Keep a record of the number of steps involved in various walks you take so that you can easily get the steps you are missing on any given day.

  • Use stairs instead of the elevator, whether you're going up or down.

  • Take a walk at lunchtime daily.

  • Stop if you feel pain, and check with your doctor before continuing.

If you want to count other types of exercise toward your walking goal, consider these options:

Activity Equivalent To
Biking or swimming 150 steps per minute
Weight lifting 100 steps per minute
Roller skating 200 steps per minute
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