Walking up stairs.

Take step counting to the next level

So you have used the step counting app on your phone lately. You became all excited when you first started it up and began counting steps. Maybe you had a daily goal for number of steps. As the first days and weeks passed by, you saw some progress. You increased the daily goal just so much. Then the small improvements to your fitness level fizzled out. Sure, you walk more, but you also see that you reached a plateau.

You work with IT, how is that for precise?

How often in your daily line of work are you able to neglect an important option to a commandline executable? How many times can you choose not to run a program that is scheduled to run at a certain time, to complete a certain purpose?

Yeah. Chances are, rarely if ever. If the computer doesn’t complain, then someone who depends on you doing your job will find obstacles to their own work, their own data flows, their own daily work routines.

This is really not that different to the machine that your body is. If you choose to neglect the parameters that govern a fit lifestyle, then you will feel the unhealthy effects that comes with too little exercise, too much food and so on.

So how can you increase the benefits of step counting? Walking everyday is not a very precise goal. And doing 10,000 steps per day instead of 8,000 doesn’t really get you that significant improvement that you are interested in.

Intensity. Time of day. Frequency. It’s all important

The heading above is as concise as it is straight to the point. It’s not only the number of steps you take, the equation you need to apply is more complex than that.

Do you walk up stairs every day?

Staircases are meant to be used. Not avoided. If you have an option to walk up stairs, happily do so. That’s a free workout for you. Many others go to the gym and use step machines (..)

Are you often in a rush?

When you are stressed, you burn more calories. However, if you are too stressed, the negative effect will be visible in your daily routines and how you feel. You want a balance of stress and calm.

Do you have an option to use elevators?

Just don’t. If you have stairs and you are able to walk up them, see it as an opportunity to stay fit.

What do you eat and when exactly?

Your daily food intake is crucial to your fitness plan. When you eat, how much and of course what you eat.

When do you eat your last meal every day?

Try not to eat too late in the evening. You won’t burn the calories if you eat too late and it will simply turn into fat.

How fast do you really walk?

Walk faster and you burn more fat. Again, having an optimal balance to your stress levels and downtime is very important.

You see..

Counting your steps is about so much more than a number. You need to consider when and how you walk, the frequency and the small decisions you take when faced with a staircase, an elevator, public transport and a bicycle. These are your choices, and you will do well to remember that you are in control of your decisions. Don’t blame others or the television series you want to see that “forces” you to go by tram or metro. Prioritize your fitness level and your own wellbeing. You are a priority and if you want to make fitness a vital ingredient of your life, then you also have to adapt the decisions that you make on a daily basis. Ultimately your fitness level depends on you the same way that a computer relies on you typing the right commands on the commandline. And as an IT professional I’m sure that you are very well aware of this.