10,000 Steps A Day

I like the idea of the 10,000 Steps A Day program, I was just wondering how I can track it easily.

Google Fit

I thought I would check Google Fit to see if it could help AND it was all there!  From my phones.  I had a lot of smaller activities that I shrank, but yesterday I did 4,817 steps.  So I think I can boost this to 10,000 steps each day with just a little work and maybe a short walk.

From the Walking Site

How many steps do you walk each day?

Maybe you have heard the recent guidelines about walking 10,000 steps per day. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.

Buy The Shoe That Feels Good

Layer-26Your form changes, as does the terrain, the season, and your needs.  Long lasting or fast during racing season, XC or Trail, what shoe should you buy?  I am a firm believer that you should buy a shoe that feels good and runs well for you with what you are running right then. “You will know”.  Recent studies indicating that the shoes for “pronation” or “over pronation” provide “support” are just a bit ridiculous.  Read some of the serious literature on orthotics [disclaminer, have bought support shoes and had great luck with orthotics, or thought I did] and then go to a modern PT expert and have a real tune up and you start to realize what magic this all is.

A recent article on the Washington Post site, on this topic of shoe purchase led me runrepeat.com.  Check it out.

…if you want the closest thing to an objective look at quality and cost, a Danish Web site called runrepeat.com has crunched the numbers from nearly 135,000 consumer reviews it gathered over a year, along with the suggested retail price of most of the popular brands.

The biggest surprise: The higher the price, the lower the rating in many cases. In fact, the 10 most expensive running shoes, with an average list price of $181 per pair, were rated 8.1 percent lower than the 10 cheapest models (average price $61).

Practicing the Advanced 7 Minute Workout

A week ago the New York Times came out with a free mobile app for the popular Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the new Advanced 7-Minute Workout.  The App itself is interesting for how it installs and is used on a Desktop as well as a phone.  This is a very nicely designed piece of software and should be on everyone’s plate to see.  The workout is pretty cool as well. 

The app offers a step-by-step guide to both 7-minute workouts, offering animated illustrations of the exercises, as well as a timer and audio cues to help you get the most out of your seven minutes.

How To Install

On an iOS device, open this link. Tap the “Bookmark” button, then “Add to Home Screen.” The app is then usable even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

On an Android device, use the Chrome browser to open this link. Then tap the “Menu” button, then “Add to Home Screen.” The app is then usable even if you don’t have an Internet connection.

To use on a desktop or other device, click here.

5 Min Plank Workout

It’s time to

  1. Improve my core definition and performance
  2. Decrease my risk of injury in the back and spinal column
  3. Experience an increased boost to my overall metabolism
  4. Significantly improve your posture
  5. Improve overall balance
  6. Become more flexible than ever before
  7. Reap mental benefits

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Run to Stay Young

via NYTimes

Running may reverse aging in certain ways while walking does not, a noteworthy new study of active older people finds. The findings raise interesting questions about whether most of us need to pick up the pace of our workouts in order to gain the greatest benefit.

Walking is excellent exercise. No one disputes that idea. Older people who walk typically have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, and longer lifespans than people who are sedentary. For many years, in fact, physicians and scientists have used how far and fast someone can walk as a marker of health as people age.

But researchers and older people themselves also have noted that walking ability tends to decline with age. Older people whose primary exercise is walking often start walking more slowly and with greater difficulty as the years pass, fatiguing more easily.

Many of us probably would assume that this physical slowing is inevitable. And in past studies of aging walkers, physiologists have found that, almost invariably, their walking economy declines over time. That is, they begin using more energy with each step, which makes moving harder and more tiring.

But researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., began to wonder whether this slow decay of older people’s physical ease really is inexorable or if it might be slowed or reversed by other types of exercise and, in particular, by running.

Happily, Boulder has an unusually large population of highly active older people, so the scientists did not lack for potential research subjects. Putting the word out at gyms and among running and walking groups, they soon recruited 30 men and women in their mid- to late-60s or early 70s.

Fifteen of these volunteers walked at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more. The other 15 ran at least three times a week, again for 30 minutes or more. The runners’ pace varied, but most moved at a gentle jogging speed.

The scientists gathered all of the volunteers at the University of Colorado’s Locomotion Laboratory and had each runner and walker complete three brief sessions of walking at three different, steadily increasing speeds on specially equipped treadmills. The treadmills were designed to measure how the volunteers’ feet hit the ground, in order to assess their biomechanics.

The volunteers also wore masks that measured their oxygen intake, data that the researchers used to determine their basic walking economy.

As it turned out, the runners were better, more efficient walkers than the walkers. They required less energy to move at the same pace as the volunteers who only walked regularly.

In fact, when the researchers compared their older runners’ walking efficiency to that of young people, which had been measured in earlier experiments at the same lab, they found that 70-year-old runners had about the same walking efficiency as your typical sedentary college student. Old runners, it appeared, could walk with the pep of young people.

Older walkers, on the other hand, had about the same walking economy as people of the same age who were sedentary. In effect, walking did not prevent people from losing their ability to walk with ease.

More surprising to the researchers, the biomechanics of the runners and the walkers during walking were almost identical. Runners did not walk differently than regular walkers, in terms of how many steps they took or the length of their strides or other measures of the mechanics of their walking.

But something was different.

The researchers speculate that this difference resides deep within their volunteers’ muscle cells. Intense or prolonged aerobic exercise, such as running, is known to increase the number of mitochondria within muscle cells, said Justus Ortega, now an associate professor of kinesiology at Humboldt University, who led the study. Mitochondria help to provide energy for these cells. So more mitochondria allow people to move for longer periods of time with less effort, he said.

Runners also may have better coordination between their muscles than walkers do, Dr. Ortega said, meaning that fewer muscles need to contract during movement, resulting in less energy being used.

But whatever the reason, running definitely mitigated the otherwise substantial decline in walking economy that seems to occur with age, he said, a result that has implications beyond the physiology lab. If moving feels easier, he said, people tend to do more of it, improving their health and enhancing their lives in the process.

The good news for people who don’t currently run is that you may be able to start at any age and still benefit, Dr. Ortega said. “Quite a few of our volunteers hadn’t take up running until they were in their 60s,” he said.

And running itself may not even be needed. Any physically taxing activity likely would make you a more efficient physical machine, Dr. Ortega said. So maybe consider speeding up for a minute or so during your next walk, until your heart pounds and you pant a bit; ease off; then again pick up the pace. You will shave time from your walk and potentially decades from your body’s biological age.