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.

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.

8 Fascinating Facts about Bicycling and Walking in the US

This post appears to have originated from the Alliance for Biking and Walking:

Cover previewLast month was the launch of the brand new 2014 Alliance Benchmarking Report, a massive report filled with data and research on walking and bicycling in all 50 states, 52 of the most populous cities, and 17 midsized cities.

The Alliance produces the Benchmarking Report every two years in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Community Design Initiative. Our goal: to comprehensively examine bicycling and walking transportation across the U.S. and how these trends relate to public health, safety, and social and economic well being. Benchmarking is a particularly helpful approach to active transportation issues because it allows comparison among states and cities while also measuring national trends. Our report looks not only at bicycling and walking levels, but a suite of related trends, like crash fatalities, weekly physical activity, transportation costs, air quality, and economic growth.

Want to check it out for yourself? Download the report here.

There’s a TON of really fascinating data in this year’s Alliance Benchmarking Report. Here’s our peek at the eight most interesting data points.

1. There are smaller percentages of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities where there are more people biking and walking.

Generally speaking, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities are a smaller percentage of roadway deaths in cities where there are more people who bike and walk to work. It could well be that if a city – or state – wants to reduce biking and walking fatalities, they should encourage more people to bike and walk — perhaps through better infrastructure.

 Inverse fatality - bikeInverse fatality - ped
2. People are healthier in states where more people bike and walk.

Getting more people out on the street biking and walking means more people meeting daily recommendations for physical activity. There’s a relationship between a state population’s physical activity levels and its levels of bicycling and walking.

Physical activity

Accordingly, the states where fewer people have diabetes also tend to be the states where more people bike and walk.

Diabetes

3. A large percentage of commuters bike and walk to work in Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New York, and Vermont.

Not so much in South Carolina, Atlanta, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. Here’s a map of bicycling and walking levels by state across the country: State bike and ped levels

 

4. The percentage of people bicycling and walking to work is increasing, and cities and states are paying attention.

Overall, we’re seeing slow but steady increases in the number of people biking and walking in the United States. Biking and walking increasing

5. Overall, biking and walking fatality rates have been decreasing for decades.

Fatality rates for bicyclists and walkers are on the decrease, with slight upticks in the last several years.

 Bike fatality rate

Ped fatality rate

6. Very little federal funding goes towards making bicycling and walking safer, compared to number of trips taken and number of people who lose their lives while biking or walking.

Unfortunately, this is not a new statistic, but it holds true today. There’s a significant disparity between walking and biking modeshare (i.e. the percentage of trips that are taken by bike or on foot), walking and biking fatalities as a portion of all on-road fatalities, and federal funding for walking and biking. Congress tends to fund roadway infrastructure rather than sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes.

Mode share disparity

7. Most cities and states understand that biking and walking are important and are setting goals to improve safety for non-motorized travelers.

Here’s some good news: our state and local governments want to help us walk and bike more.

This makes a lot of sense. Public health improvements depend in a big way on increasing levels of physical activity. Plus, most city and state populations are growing, but land mass size is staying the same. Making all modes of transportation safe and accessible will better accommodate higher population densities.

City policy goalsState policy goals

8. More people tend to bike or walk to work when their state and city have strong biking and walking advocacy.

As a coalition of state and local biking & walking advocacy organizations, we’re pretty excited about people working together to make communities better. And it turns out there’s hard data behind this work. Data show a positive correlation between the number of people who bike and walk to work in a city and the incomes and staff sizes of those cities’ biking & walking advocacy organizations. Strong advocacy means strong active commuting!

Advocacy capacity vs levels of biking and walking

Tribesports: Hack Your Fitness

See Tribesports.com for an interesting take on clothes and a community for fitness.  Enjoy the infographic below and get out and be fit, be fast, be fearless. 

By removing middlemen to sell only online, and celebrating real sports people like you rather than paying pro athletes to wear our sportswear, we pass on up to 40% savings to our customers compared to the same quality products from other leading sports brands. Learn more here

7-Ways-to-Burn-Over-2900-More-Calories-Each-Week

The Complete Guide To Interval Training

interval-trainingFrom Daily Infographics.

Interval training…There is no better way to see results than using this method. You’ll scorch fat in less the time, and it’ll leave you gasping for air and looking great! Interval training is a type of exercise that involves high- to – low intensity workouts. While interval training is a fantastic way to burn fat and see results, its also a way for runners to build speed.

Still confused about this promising workout? Today’s infographic provides you with all the answers and even gives some interval workouts created by professionals. However, readers be warned: listen to your body when doing interval training, it is very easy to overwork your body and get hurt . Its okay to push yourself, but if your body cant go on, then its time to stop. Have a happy workout! [via]