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Are you Up for the 10,000 Step Challenge?

How many steps do you take every day? Fitness experts say grown ups should take at least 10,000 steps every day—that equals about 5 miles of walking. It's good for kids your age to take even more than 10,000 steps every day. But can you imagine counting all of those steps? Yikes!

One easy way to measure how many steps you take is to invest in a step counter. You can probably find one that doesn't cost a lot at a local sporting goods store or a store that has a sporting goods department. The step counter doesn't have to be anything fancy—it just has to count your steps.

Step counters work when you attach them to the waistband of your clothing. They count how often your hips move up and down as you walk—and that equals the number of steps you take.

It's fun to use a step counter to see how many steps you usually take in one day. To track your progress, wear your step counter all day. Then, before you go to bed, write down the number of steps shown on your step counter. Are you close to 10,000? Are you way under or over? It's OK if you're way under 10,000 steps to start with—lots of people are! Work on taking a few more steps each day until you hit the big 10,000. Then, try for even more. Wherever you start, the goal is to challenge yourself to take even more steps.

Are you ready to take the 10,000-plus step challenge? Let's get stepping!
Start by counting steps in your daily routine. How many steps is it from:

  • Your bedroom to the front door?
  • Your locker to your homeroom or first class of the day?
  • Your front door, around your house or building and back to the front door?
  • Your locker to your best friend's locker?
  • Your home to a friend's home?
  • One class to another?
  • The entrance of your school to your locker or first class?

Easy ways to sneak extra steps into your day:

  • Get up and walk around during commercial breaks while you're watching TV
  • Get up to change the channel instead of using the remote
  • If you walk to school, take a longer route (or maybe on the way home so you're not late!)
  • Take the stairs more often
  • Become a part-time pet walker
  • If you go shopping with a parent, have them park farther away from the entrance to the store
  • Walk around while you're brushing your teeth or on the phone with a friend
  • If you're on the computer, set a timer to remind you to get up every 30 minutes or so and walk around

Of course, taking a long walk each day with your family or a friend is a great way to meet the 10,000-step challenge! What other ideas can you come up with to take more steps? Do you feel like you're becoming more active? Do you notice that you're taking more steps each day now that you're counting them? Good!

Now keep stepping!!!

Now that you're up: Five Fun Ways To Get Physical
Get in the Groove with the 10-Minute Move

Get active with a pet: Be a Part-time Pet Walker

Reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006