Counting Steps FAD

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  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
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    Another thread where an OP drops a grenade and doesn't return.
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,515 Member
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    Another thread where an OP drops a grenade and doesn't return.

    I too suspect trolling is strong with this one...
  • neutroncore
    neutroncore Posts: 36 Member
    edited February 2016
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    thorsmom01 wrote: »
    While I don't own one and have no need for one, I do believe they serve a purpose.
    Here's an example - my aunt was becoming inactive and unmotivated. I got her a fitbit. She loved challenging herself to move more. It encouraged her to get up and move around. Walking to get a coffee might not be much but its sure better then nothing. For her, it increased her activity and made her more aware of how sedentary she really was.
    So it might be meaningless to you but for her it has a purpose. 10,000 steps is definitely better then laying on the couch all day.

    Well said. If I may add;
    Steps counting is not designed for athletics, it is a simple device to motivate people , it's not the ultimate goal of fitness but definitely better than complete sedentary life.
    also, these devices tend to challenge you to do more steps... I started with few thousand steps per day then the recommended 10k steps, it was relatively easy but made me challenge myself to do more.. then I put a new goal of 15k... I found myself I needed to run to achieve this number of steps in my busy life schedule. ..so; I got a professional Running chest strap, (wahoo ticker x), which motivated me even more and now I run regularly about 60 kilometer (about 35 miles) a week.... all started with a simple step counting device.
  • idioblast
    idioblast Posts: 114 Member
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    You'd have to pull my Fitbit off my dead body...that's how much I love it.

    I completely agree with this statement.

    My purposeful exercise is much the same as before I got my fitbit, but I find myself now taking additional walk breaks throughout the day and giving the dog an extra walk or two...especially if I'm in a fitbit challenge. It's motivation and it absolutely works for me.
  • AmandaDanceMore
    AmandaDanceMore Posts: 298 Member
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    I consider myself fairly active and relatively fit, compared to the average American. I started counting steps a little over two weeks ago. It was eye opening to see how sedentary I had become. Between pushing for more steps and just being mindful of what I eat (I haven't done a massive overhaul, I just pay attention), I've lost 5lbs in this two weeks. Silly fad.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
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    I am a big disbeliever in the idea that counting steps taken under any circumstances during the day are actually has any meaning to becoming physically fit. My physiology classes in graduate school taught me that to contribute towards fitness, there must be sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes at cardio training level.

    A friend proudly showed me his fitbit today saying he had 10,000+ steps for the day. How many of those steps were from his office down the short hall to get cup of coffee and back to his office chair (drinks at least 10 cups of coffee a day) ? Do those steps matter in the overall fitness? What about meandering around WalMart avoiding cart collisions and frequent stops to select item and put in cart? Do those steps contribute anything? How about multiple trips from family room to kitchen to get snacks to watch TV? He finally admitted that only half of those steps were during his morning run.

    Is it the hypothesis that to get in 10,000 steps per day, you had to have been pretty active during the day? If I walked slowly all day to get 10k steps, is that equivalent to random steps taken throughout the day of any duration and any pace?

    Step-Counting gadgets have become big business. Can anyone point me to a single peer-reviewed scientific article that indicates that step counting is a proven method to improve fitness? I doubt it. It is just a FAD that may lull many into the illusion that they are getting physically fit merely because they logged a certain number of steps each day. Is 10k steps the "daily recommended" amount for physical fitness? What happened to cardio exercise as the gold standard?

    Simple answer: you got really huffy because you misunderstood and are comparing apples to oranges. Step counters encourage people to become more active in general as is recommended (10,000 steps a day). There is separate advice that you should be doing 30 minutes of cardio 3 times per week. And I just heard someone on the radio say it didn't matter if you broke the 30 minutes up. No clue if there's been actual research on 10 minutes of exercise 3x per day vs. one workout of 30 minutes.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
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    thorsmom01 wrote: »
    While I don't own one and have no need for one, I do believe they serve a purpose.
    Here's an example - my aunt was becoming inactive and unmotivated. I got her a fitbit. She loved challenging herself to move more. It encouraged her to get up and move around. Walking to get a coffee might not be much but its sure better then nothing. For her, it increased her activity and made her more aware of how sedentary she really was.
    So it might be meaningless to you but for her it has a purpose. 10,000 steps is definitely better then laying on the couch all day.

    Well said. If I may add;
    Steps counting is not designed for athletics, it is a simple device to motivate people whom reached, unfortunately, alarming level of sedentary life, it's not the ultimate goal of fitness but definitely better than complete sedentary life...
    also, these devices tend to challenge you to do more steps... I started with few thousand steps per day then the recommended 10k steps, it was relatively easy but made me challenge myself to do more.. then I put a new goal of 15k... I found myself I needed to run to achieve this number of steps in my busy life schedule. ..so; I got a professional Running chest strap, (wahoo ticker x), which motivated me even more and now I run regularly about 60 kilometer (about 35 miles) a week.... all started with a simple step counting device.

    I'm pretty active by some standards. I run 3x a week. I commute by bicycle. I do pilates and yoga 4x a week. I lift. I do something active with my family on the weekends (ski, hike etc.). I consistently get well over 10k steps. The fitbit didn't make all that happen. I didn't suddenly go from sedentary to active. I've ALWAYS been active. The fitbit is just a fun tool. My point: not everyone using an activity tracker was sedentary before using one. Some were, sure. But not all.
  • neutroncore
    neutroncore Posts: 36 Member
    edited February 2016
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    thorsmom01 wrote: »
    While I don't own one and have no need for one, I do believe they serve a purpose.
    Here's an example - my aunt was becoming inactive and unmotivated. I got her a fitbit. She loved challenging herself to move more. It encouraged her to get up and move around. Walking to get a coffee might not be much but its sure better then nothing. For her, it increased her activity and made her more aware of how sedentary she really was.
    So it might be meaningless to you but for her it has a purpose. 10,000 steps is definitely better then laying on the couch all day.

    Well said. If I may add;
    Steps counting is not designed for athletics, it is a simple device to motivate people whom reached, unfortunately, alarming level of sedentary life, it's not the ultimate goal of fitness but definitely better than complete sedentary life...
    also, these devices tend to challenge you to do more steps... I started with few thousand steps per day then the recommended 10k steps, it was relatively easy but made me challenge myself to do more.. then I put a new goal of 15k... I found myself I needed to run to achieve this number of steps in my busy life schedule. ..so; I got a professional Running chest strap, (wahoo ticker x), which motivated me even more and now I run regularly about 60 kilometer (about 35 miles) a week.... all started with a simple step counting device.

    I'm pretty active by some standards. I run 3x a week. I commute by bicycle. I do pilates and yoga 4x a week. I lift. I do something active with my family on the weekends (ski, hike etc.). I consistently get well over 10k steps. The fitbit didn't make all that happen. I didn't suddenly go from sedentary to active. I've ALWAYS been active. The fitbit is just a fun tool. My point: not everyone using an activity tracker was sedentary before using one. Some were, sure. But not all.

    You're absolutely right.
  • MommyMeggo
    MommyMeggo Posts: 1,222 Member
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    Full on "FAD" supporter here.
    Pedometer doesn't = fitness. Geheez, that's not rocket science-and Im pretty sure we are all smart enough to know that.

    PS- Your post is quite rude.
  • mean_and_lean
    mean_and_lean Posts: 164 Member
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    Why does it really matter? If counting steps gets someone up and moving then how is that a bad thing? I know people who got fit-bits and they make up mini challenges for each other and it gets the motivated to actually move outside of what they would normally do.

    And in the grand scheme of things, how does it really effect you? I mean if someone who walked 0 steps a day is now walking 10k+ how is that impacting your life?
  • ald783
    ald783 Posts: 688 Member
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    I doubt people are setting aside more rigorous exercise in favor of just counting steps. I think in most cases, people are using this to supplement other exercise, or just to get a little extra movement in each day. And in some cases it's taking someone from being completely sedentary to being somewhat more active, even if it's incremental or "just" walking. Basically I'm in the camp that there's no downside and a little more here and there is better than nothing.

    I will say I'm kind of bored with the obsession and hearing about everyone's step count all the time. I've never had a Fitbit and yet I can tell you the daily step counts of at least 3 coworkers, my mother, and several friends, because they don't STFU about it.
  • johnmarkel
    johnmarkel Posts: 1 Member
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    Wow what a question or should I say questions.

    So is counting steps a FAD, maybe it is.

    But guess what, so are most exercise programs, Crossfit, PX-90, Zumba, etc..

    So now let us address the merits of counting steps (keeping in mind that I have never taken a physiology class gradate level or otherwise).

    The real question is why would your medical professional tell you, you should be taking 10,000 steps per day? Well to be frank if they told an out of shape over weight, person they needed to walk 4 to 5 miles per day most would be defeated, and never start. However, by telling them they want them to “just walk” most people see that as just something they do everyday. So now you may be asking "where did that 4 to 5 miles come from"? Well 4 to 5 miles per day comes from a simple orienteering principle of knowing your step distance. Sit tight were about to do some math here. ;) You see the average person takes between a 27and 30-inch step (Google:” average step length for a person”). For our example we will use the average of 28.5 inches / step.

    So if we multiply 28.5 by 10,000, we come up with 285,000 inches walked per day.
    28.5”/Step*10,000 steps = 285,000 inches

    If we then convert those 285,000 inches into feet, you come up with 23,750 feet walked per day by Mr. Average (no sexism intended here)
    285,000 inches / 12 inches/foot =23,750 feet

    If we then convert those 23,750 feet to miles, we come up with 4.5 miles per day.
    23,750 feet / 5280 feet/1 mile = 4.5 miles walked per day.

    Frankly this piece is all about psychology on the part of the medical professionals.

    Now on to the question of peer reviewed studies, a quick Google search of “health and walking correlations” brought up over 29 million results in a ¼ of a second. I will leave it up to those of you who want to read deeper to make up your own mind as to whether or not there is any real correlation, between steps, walking, running etc. and time in process vs. health.

    Setting aside all the math and studies, here is the one thing I do know, 12 weeks ago, I started counting steps , watching what went in my mouth and doing it consistently, and I have lost 35 pounds.

    I am not winded going up an down stairs, I don’t have to stop and rest when I am at the customers plant walking around, and my first round (yes this is a process) of FAT BOY clothing is getting sorted out this weekend, so it can be sent to a shelter.

    So is counting steps a FAD? Maybe, maybe not, but if that little step counter whether on my wrist, belt, ankle or the one built into my phone, (or as one of my wifes friends does it attached to her BRA), helps me be a bit more ccountable to myself then so be it, because its working. The days I don't have my 10,000 steps in I am walking around the pooltable in the family room while watching TV to finish up. On the really bad days the loop widens to include the living room and the family room. When traveling I now walk the airport terminal bags in tow, or the hotel floors if necessary to hit my numbers. In other words what ever works.

    You see folks in my opinion it’s not necessarily about counting steps it’s about moving.

    Just my two cents,

    John

    G.O.B.A.M
    Get Offy’r Butt and Move TM
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,454 Member
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    johnmarkel wrote: »
    Wow what a question or should I say questions.

    So is counting steps a FAD, maybe it is.

    But guess what, so are most exercise programs, Crossfit, PX-90, Zumba, etc..

    So now let us address the merits of counting steps (keeping in mind that I have never taken a physiology class gradate level or otherwise).

    The real question is why would your medical professional tell you, you should be taking 10,000 steps per day? Well to be frank if they told an out of shape over weight, person they needed to walk 4 to 5 miles per day most would be defeated, and never start. However, by telling them they want them to “just walk” most people see that as just something they do everyday. So now you may be asking "where did that 4 to 5 miles come from"? Well 4 to 5 miles per day comes from a simple orienteering principle of knowing your step distance. Sit tight were about to do some math here. ;) You see the average person takes between a 27and 30-inch step (Google:” average step length for a person”). For our example we will use the average of 28.5 inches / step.

    So if we multiply 28.5 by 10,000, we come up with 285,000 inches walked per day.
    28.5”/Step*10,000 steps = 285,000 inches

    If we then convert those 285,000 inches into feet, you come up with 23,750 feet walked per day by Mr. Average (no sexism intended here)
    285,000 inches / 12 inches/foot =23,750 feet

    If we then convert those 23,750 feet to miles, we come up with 4.5 miles per day.
    23,750 feet / 5280 feet/1 mile = 4.5 miles walked per day.

    Frankly this piece is all about psychology on the part of the medical professionals.

    Now on to the question of peer reviewed studies, a quick Google search of “health and walking correlations” brought up over 29 million results in a ¼ of a second. I will leave it up to those of you who want to read deeper to make up your own mind as to whether or not there is any real correlation, between steps, walking, running etc. and time in process vs. health.

    Setting aside all the math and studies, here is the one thing I do know, 12 weeks ago, I started counting steps , watching what went in my mouth and doing it consistently, and I have lost 35 pounds.

    I am not winded going up an down stairs, I don’t have to stop and rest when I am at the customers plant walking around, and my first round (yes this is a process) of FAT BOY clothing is getting sorted out this weekend, so it can be sent to a shelter.

    So is counting steps a FAD? Maybe, maybe not, but if that little step counter whether on my wrist, belt, ankle or the one built into my phone, (or as one of my wifes friends does it attached to her BRA), helps me be a bit more ccountable to myself then so be it, because its working. The days I don't have my 10,000 steps in I am walking around the pooltable in the family room while watching TV to finish up. On the really bad days the loop widens to include the living room and the family room. When traveling I now walk the airport terminal bags in tow, or the hotel floors if necessary to hit my numbers. In other words what ever works.

    You see folks in my opinion it’s not necessarily about counting steps it’s about moving.

    Just my two cents,

    John

    G.O.B.A.M
    Get Offy’r Butt and Move TM

    Strong First Post - for real!
  • MommyMeggo
    MommyMeggo Posts: 1,222 Member
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    johnmarkel wrote: »
    Wow what a question or should I say questions.

    So is counting steps a FAD, maybe it is.

    But guess what, so are most exercise programs, Crossfit, PX-90, Zumba, etc..

    So now let us address the merits of counting steps (keeping in mind that I have never taken a physiology class gradate level or otherwise).

    The real question is why would your medical professional tell you, you should be taking 10,000 steps per day? Well to be frank if they told an out of shape over weight, person they needed to walk 4 to 5 miles per day most would be defeated, and never start. However, by telling them they want them to “just walk” most people see that as just something they do everyday. So now you may be asking "where did that 4 to 5 miles come from"? Well 4 to 5 miles per day comes from a simple orienteering principle of knowing your step distance. Sit tight were about to do some math here. ;) You see the average person takes between a 27and 30-inch step (Google:” average step length for a person”). For our example we will use the average of 28.5 inches / step.

    So if we multiply 28.5 by 10,000, we come up with 285,000 inches walked per day.
    28.5”/Step*10,000 steps = 285,000 inches

    If we then convert those 285,000 inches into feet, you come up with 23,750 feet walked per day by Mr. Average (no sexism intended here)
    285,000 inches / 12 inches/foot =23,750 feet

    If we then convert those 23,750 feet to miles, we come up with 4.5 miles per day.
    23,750 feet / 5280 feet/1 mile = 4.5 miles walked per day.

    Frankly this piece is all about psychology on the part of the medical professionals.

    Now on to the question of peer reviewed studies, a quick Google search of “health and walking correlations” brought up over 29 million results in a ¼ of a second. I will leave it up to those of you who want to read deeper to make up your own mind as to whether or not there is any real correlation, between steps, walking, running etc. and time in process vs. health.

    Setting aside all the math and studies, here is the one thing I do know, 12 weeks ago, I started counting steps , watching what went in my mouth and doing it consistently, and I have lost 35 pounds.

    I am not winded going up an down stairs, I don’t have to stop and rest when I am at the customers plant walking around, and my first round (yes this is a process) of FAT BOY clothing is getting sorted out this weekend, so it can be sent to a shelter.

    So is counting steps a FAD? Maybe, maybe not, but if that little step counter whether on my wrist, belt, ankle or the one built into my phone, (or as one of my wifes friends does it attached to her BRA), helps me be a bit more ccountable to myself then so be it, because its working. The days I don't have my 10,000 steps in I am walking around the pooltable in the family room while watching TV to finish up. On the really bad days the loop widens to include the living room and the family room. When traveling I now walk the airport terminal bags in tow, or the hotel floors if necessary to hit my numbers. In other words what ever works.

    You see folks in my opinion it’s not necessarily about counting steps it’s about moving.

    Just my two cents,

    John

    G.O.B.A.M
    Get Offy’r Butt and Move TM

    *slow clap*
  • drachfit
    drachfit Posts: 217 Member
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    yep. the bar has been lowered. American Heart Association says at least 120m per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity just to lower your risk of heart disease.

    instead we now have people who barely move all day. at least 10k steps is better than zero. but its not going to make you "fit." humans evolved to be able to walk almost indefinitely. 10k doesn't scratch the surface.

    I work in an office and easily get 10k steps a day just walking from my apartment to my car and to coffee or bathroom breaks with no other exercise. i don't walk places to commute (such as around the neighborhood), i drive everywhere and sit on a computer in my free time. the tallest building in my life is 3 floors. i cannot fathom that people are significantly less active than that.

    for development of real aerobic capacity, yes 30m+ durations at high heart rate (60% MHR +) need to be sustained. its possible to get an OK workout in shorter time by doing intervals (to a much higher %MHR, like 90-95%), but this trains a lot more strength and glycolytic energy systems than it does aerobic. both are important. and an honest sprint interval workout for an athlete lasts 60+ minutes anyway, including rest periods and warmup.
  • upoffthemat
    upoffthemat Posts: 679 Member
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    drachfit wrote: »
    yep. the bar has been lowered. American Heart Association says at least 120m per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity just to lower your risk of heart disease.

    instead we now have people who barely move all day. at least 10k steps is better than zero. but its not going to make you "fit." humans evolved to be able to walk almost indefinitely. 10k doesn't scratch the surface.

    I work in an office and easily get 10k steps a day just walking from my apartment to my car and to coffee or bathroom breaks with no other exercise. i don't walk places to commute (such as around the neighborhood), i drive everywhere and sit on a computer in my free time. the tallest building in my life is 3 floors. i cannot fathom that people are significantly less active than that.

    for development of real aerobic capacity, yes 30m+ durations at high heart rate (60% MHR +) need to be sustained. its possible to get an OK workout in shorter time by doing intervals (to a much higher %MHR, like 90-95%), but this trains a lot more strength and glycolytic energy systems than it does aerobic. both are important. and an honest sprint interval workout for an athlete lasts 60+ minutes anyway, including rest periods and warmup.

    I think you may be underestimating how many steps 10k really is. As another poster posted, it does average to around 4-5 miles. If I just count coffee, in and out of work and even shopping, I don't even make 5k a day, some days it may not even be 3k. I have to add dog walking or intentional exercise in to get to 10k.

  • CollieFit
    CollieFit Posts: 1,683 Member
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    drachfit wrote: »
    I work in an office and easily get 10k steps a day just walking from my apartment to my car and to coffee or bathroom breaks with no other exercise. i don't walk places to commute (such as around the neighborhood), i drive everywhere and sit on a computer in my free time. the tallest building in my life is 3 floors. i cannot fathom that people are significantly less active than that.

    An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles.

    I used to have an office job and I drove to work. There is no way in this world that my 2 min walk to and from the car park, my trip to the canteen at lunch time and the occasional stroll to the toilet or photocopying machine would have added up to 5 miles.
  • idioblast
    idioblast Posts: 114 Member
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    My husband was convinced, CONVINCED, he got at least 10k steps during a normal workday. I bought him a fitbit and low and behold, he was only averaging around 3k steps per day. It was certainly an eye opener for him.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,868 Member
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    I am a big disbeliever in the idea that counting steps taken under any circumstances during the day are actually has any meaning to becoming physically fit. My physiology classes in graduate school taught me that to contribute towards fitness, there must be sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes at cardio training level.

    A friend proudly showed me his fitbit today saying he had 10,000+ steps for the day. How many of those steps were from his office down the short hall to get cup of coffee and back to his office chair (drinks at least 10 cups of coffee a day) ? Do those steps matter in the overall fitness? What about meandering around WalMart avoiding cart collisions and frequent stops to select item and put in cart? Do those steps contribute anything? How about multiple trips from family room to kitchen to get snacks to watch TV? He finally admitted that only half of those steps were during his morning run.

    Is it the hypothesis that to get in 10,000 steps per day, you had to have been pretty active during the day? If I walked slowly all day to get 10k steps, is that equivalent to random steps taken throughout the day of any duration and any pace?

    Step-Counting gadgets have become big business. Can anyone point me to a single peer-reviewed scientific article that indicates that step counting is a proven method to improve fitness? I doubt it. It is just a FAD that may lull many into the illusion that they are getting physically fit merely because they logged a certain number of steps each day. Is 10k steps the "daily recommended" amount for physical fitness? What happened to cardio exercise as the gold standard?

    I don't think it's necessarily really for fitness but rather a matter of just getting people to move more in general. Just being more active in general is good for your overall health and is also going to increase your energy expenditure.

    Where fitness is concerned, it would really depend on the individual's level of fitness. For someone extremely out of shape and obese and very sedentary, walking is pretty good exercise, at least in the beginning. For someone who is pretty fit, walking is great low impact activity, but it's not going to do a whole lot for one's physical fitness. I personally love a good walk...but I cycle 80 - 100 miles per week easy so that walking isn't doing much if anything for my cardiovascular fitness at this point...a mere three years ago was another matter entirely.

  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
    edited February 2016
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    CollieFit wrote: »
    drachfit wrote: »
    I work in an office and easily get 10k steps a day just walking from my apartment to my car and to coffee or bathroom breaks with no other exercise. i don't walk places to commute (such as around the neighborhood), i drive everywhere and sit on a computer in my free time. the tallest building in my life is 3 floors. i cannot fathom that people are significantly less active than that.

    An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile; and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles.

    I used to have an office job and I drove to work. There is no way in this world that my 2 min walk to and from the car park, my trip to the canteen at lunch time and the occasional stroll to the toilet or photocopying machine would have added up to 5 miles.

    Agreed. I live in an apartment complex where I often have to park far from my front door. I have a 4-5 minute walk from my car to my desk at work, and went out to my car for lunch every day, so four trips per day. I would go the grocery store or Target 3 or 4 times per week. I always took the stairs - I hate elevators. People would always tell me I was losing weight because I was "so active". And I was shocked when I got my first pedometer and discovered I was taking @ 3,000 steps per day! My Fitbit reminds me to keep moving. I'm currently getting 7,000 - 8,000 steps per day, and once the weather gets nicer I WILL get it to 10,000.

    And yeah, I still workout 4-5x per week for fitness and cardio health. Because I'm aware the steps are only affecting my day-to-day activity level, it doesn't count as my workout. Although a fast-paced 20 minute walk is for sure a workout, I do that sometimes when I don't feel like doing anything else.