As a busy care partner, is 10k steps a day active? It’s not always easy getting in some form of physical activity on a daily basis, no matter who you are. But as a care partner for a loved one, finding that time can be even more challenging. Here are examples of how you can reach 10k steps a day while caring for your loved one.
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I enjoy being active and moving my body but it’s not always easy fitting it into my daily schedule. I especially love to walk, and I began to wonder, is 10k steps a day active?
Work, household chores, errands, meeting etc. all make it challenging to walk and get movement in on a consistent basis.
Especially now that I’ve moved from California to Cape Cod. East coast weather is vastly different than west coast, not that I mind. We have many more rainy and hot and humid days, and in the winter, sometimes you need layer upon layer just to run errands.
Why 10k Steps?
The idea of 10k steps is not based on research but is believed to be more of a marketing strategy by a Japanese company who made a pedometer called Manpo-kei, which means “10,000 steps meter”.
Nevertheless, using 10k steps as a guideline can be a helpful tool in reminding and encouraging us to move our bodies throughout the day.
I recently bought a Fitbit Sense to track some of my health parameters, and I am really enjoying it. I wanted a tracker for health statistics more than texts, and phone calls. And although my Fitbit has all of those bells and whistles, it’s main function and where it really shines is with its health information tracking.
Every morning I put on my Fitbit and am able to track not just my steps but my heart rate, resting pulse, sleep, blood oxygen level, skin temperature, and more.
Now you don’t need a Fitbit, or any other kind of tracking device, to get active and start moving your body every single day. It’s nice, but not necessary. Did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every week, plus at least 2 days of muscle strengthening activity? This can be in any form you wish, and any method you find desirable.
Walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, would get you to the CDC’s recommendation of 150 minutes each week. In answering the question, is 10k steps a day active, well…10k steps equal approximately 5 miles, so it actually exceeds the CDS’s recommendation. But remember, 150 minutes per week is the minimum.
I made it my goal to see how it would feel to get 10k steps in every day. And with my schedule, I had to get creative to do so.
Here is a quick list of the ways I reach my goal of 10k steps a day.
Quick Easy Examples To Get In 10k Steps A Day
- walking – walk your dog, walk with your friends or spouse, or just take some time to quietly walk on your own.
- treadmill – owning a piece of cardio equipment is one of the best purchases you can make. Especially if you live in a climate that changes daily, like me on the Cape.
- stairs – if you live in a home with more than one story, take advantage of walking up and down your stairs.
- stepper – I often use my stepper in the house when I am viewing emails or scrolling on my phone.
- wobbler – this is a board you stand on, and move back and forth to keep the muscles in your lower body continually moving. It is a great way to get steps in, and I use it most often while working at my standing desk.
Of course there are plenty of other ways to get your 10k steps in but I wanted to incorporated some simple things you can do while staying around your home. Since many care partner’s cannot leave the house for any extended length of time.
Walking – here, there, everywhere
One of the best and simplest ways to get in your 10k steps is just by walking. I like to take my dog Morris on a walk every morning. He is a Portuguese Water Dog and quite old now, 13 years old. He has arthritis, and limps along, but he definitely enjoys being outside everyday.
We just walk slow and I take my time with him. Walking in the morning, even if for just 10 minutes, will add to your 10k steps. Plus it is also very refreshing and centering for the mind as well.
Treadmill – or any other piece of cardio equipment
I strongly believe one of the best purchases you can make for your health is a piece of cardiovascular equipment. There are many times when you just don’t feel like going outside, or to the gym. This is when a piece of cardio equipment helps so much.
Back in California I owned a recumbent bicycle, and I used it all the time. Some days I would wake up early, and just feel like cranking it out. I didn’t want to have to get fully dressed to step outside or go to the gym. Instead I would grab a cup of coffee, jump on my bike, and watch or read the news.
Here on the Cape I purchased a NordicTrack treadmill because I love to walk so much. I wanted a piece of cardio equipment that would mimic walking or running, and I love my treadmill. It was well worth the investment. On those days when I want to get moving, without having to look presentable out in the world, I just jump on my treadmill.
Stairs – in your home or anywhere else
The house I live in is a two-story home and it seems like I am up and down my stairs all the time. When I put my Fitbit on and began tracking my steps, I realized just how much I was going up and down the stairs in my house!
Walking up and down stairs is great for your body, if your back, hips, and knees can tolerate it. Stair climbing isn’t for everyone but if you can do it comfortably, I strongly recommend doing them.
Instead of piling things at the bottom of the stair to bring up once, I make a point of going up and down my home stairs every chance I get. If that means running up the stairs to put a pair of shoes away, only to run up again to put away bathroom towels, I will do it every time.
The more opportunity to walk up and down your stairs, the easier it will be to get in your 10k daily steps.
Stepper – for stationary stepping in the home
This stepper is another great piece of equipment, and I found it to be quite reasonably priced. A client of mine introduced me to this because she too was wanting to get more steps in her day. I am so glad she did.
A stationary stepper is basically just a small piece of equipment with two steps that go up and down. Think of it like a mini stair climber.
I use mine when I am working on my computer, checking emails, or when I am scrolling on my phone. It is yet another creative way to work in your daily steps.
Wobbler – for consistent small muscle movement
A wobbler is also known as a stability or an anti-fatigue board. And they are fantastic for balance, micro-movement, stability, and core strengthening.
The wobbler keeps you moving, even though the movement is small. So it helps to decrease fatigue when you are working at your desk.
I use mine most often when I’m at my desk, making telephone calls, or working virtually with my clients.
Most wobbler balance boards are not crazy expensive and worth the investment. I’ve recommended clients alternate from a chair to a wobbler board, when they are working at their desk. They tell me it makes all of the difference in their fatigue level, and has saved them from back pain.
So I hope you enjoyed this article, and I answered the question, is 10k steps a day active. I also hope you found these easy examples of getting in your 10k steps a day helpful.
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check out these other posts on how to stay healthy as a busy care partner
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Check out my FREE Guides to help you as a busy Care Partner
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Brad MacAonghais says
I’ve never heard of a wobbler before but sounds like a great multitasking tool. I also love your suggestion to not pile everything up at the bottom of the stairs but to do multiple trips-I’m definitely going to tell my wife that I’m not forgetful, just trying to get my exercise in 😉
Dawn Dunkin says
Ha ha…yes…I believe you. 😉
What a great topic for a blog! Much needed. 10k steps can be so challenging. Great information.
Dawn Dunkin says
Yes, thank you!
I so miss working out. I was just considering to myself taking morning bike rides or walks alone just to start getting that back in my life. You can see a significant decline in your entire body when those minimal exercise routines drop off due to life’s busyness. Thank you for all of these tips, they will definitely come in handy!
Dawn Dunkin says
Thank you Julie! I am so glad they helped. Let’s MOVE…! 😉