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I Dare You to Take 10,000 Steps, and Count It!

Make it a friendly competition for your family, while helping your heart and health!

I dare you to keep count of the number of steps you take tomorrow. If you have a sedentary desk job, or just don't move very much, the number of steps you walk will be sobering indeed.

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I Dare You to Take 10,000 Steps, and Count It!

The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps a day.

Just 10,000 steps and you can increase your physical fitness, decrease your risk of many diseases and feel better. Not to mention that your spring wardrobe will feel more comfortable.  

It's hard to do, though. You have to think about it. Afterall, for an average walker, this is approximately 5 miles.

Getting in the car, dropping the kids off, running a few errands, going to work (and sitting...), coming home, making dinner and putting away the laundry while perhaps answering a few wayward homework questions does not make for many steps. On those days, I've sometimes barely crested the 2,000 mark.

QUIZ: How Much Do You Move?

This calls for some serious planning on your part. If you can get at least 1000 steps in before breakfast, I find that the day suddenly looks a lot brighter. March in place while you brush your teeth. Put things away one at a time, so you have to walk back and forth across the room. Sort the mail while you walk around the dining room table. Get creative!

If you are fortunate enough to be out and about during the day, then build in some extra movement...it really adds up. In a large store? Walk up and down the aisles, even traveling down the aisles you have no business being in. 

Parking in a garage or parking lot? Park really far away from where you need to be. Going up to the fourth floor? Take the steps. (Then take them down again when you leave.)

MORE: How to Sneak Exercise into Your Day

Better yet, get yourself a pedometer.

You don't need a fancy one, just a simple one that counts your steps. You can wear on your waistband, or bra strap; or get one with a wristband. Since I tend to lose them (especially when changing clothes, or getting stuck on seatbelts in cars), I recommend getting a few at a time.

And who doesn't like a little competition...get one for your kids or partner or a friend and make it a friendly competition. Nothing like getting moving when your little one is ahead by several thousand steps!

MORE: How Exercise Affects Your Appetite

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