A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. For a journey of 10,000 steps, however, you might want to use a pedometer – or even better, an app.
Studies repeatedly show that our sedentary lifestyles – our long commutes and long hours in front of screens – are slowly killing us. On average, Americans spend 56 hours a week sitting, which is a proven link to obesity, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, cancer, and more.
The only way to combat the negative effects of our modern lifestyle is to make a conscious effort every day to move more – even it’s in short bursts of activity, and even if you never break a sweat.
10,000 steps – about 5 miles – is the daily amount of walking recommended to improve health and mitigate the detrimental effects of sitting. The idea started with the invention of a pedometer in Japan in 1965, and it stuck with many groups and fitness experts touting the benefits. Studies have found that just owning a pedometer can increase activity and fitness levels because the devices not only count steps, but also offer immediate positive feedback.
There’s an App for That
Pedometers can be purchased relatively inexpensively nowadays, but new free cell phone apps like Moves are tough to beat. The Moves app uses sensor and location information from your iPhone to track your movement, whether you are walking, running, biking or in transport by car, bus, etc.
Unlike many pedometers, your phone does not need to be kept out in the open on a belt to function properly. It can be kept in a purse, bag, armband or pocket as well. The Moves app runs in the background so nothing needs to be open for it to operate. The app does use up more battery power than average, but it is designed to enable most iPhones to stay charged for a full day. So as long as you charge your phone each night, you should have no problems.
One Step at a Time
Once you download the app, it’s time to get moving. The app records the number of steps as well as the amount of time that you walked. If you find you are initially falling short of your 10,000 step goal, don’t be discouraged. Remember, small changes made over time eventually become habits.
Here are some simple strategies that add activity to your daily routine and your daily steps without requiring a huge effort or a huge time commitment:
• Park at the far end of the parking lot at work or when shopping. You can easily add 400-500 steps this way.
• When watching TV, get up and take a walk during commercials. You can walk to the laundry room to do a load of wash, take out the trash before it overflows, run the vacuum or walk in place. You can add 200-500 steps during a single commercial break.
• Take a quick 20 minute walk in the morning before leaving for work. A one mile walk can yield 2,000-2500 steps.
• Take a quick walk around the block when you get home from work or an outing.
• Walk the dog.
• Walk when you talk on the phone.
• Go visit a colleague at work instead of emailing. Make it a habit to do this several times a day.
• Designate 10 minutes of your lunch break for a quick walk.
You’ll soon find that increasing activity is pretty painless, and watching those steps tally up is so rewarding and fun! It’s almost like playing a video game…only better for your health.
What makes certain occupations better than others?
According to US News, the most satisfying jobs are those that offer ample employment opportunities, good salaries, manageable work-life balance, and job security. Physical therapy offers all of those benefits listed, so we weren’t surprised to find out that our chosen career ranks 8th on their list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2013.
Physical therapy is a physically demanding job. It also requires excellent interpersonal skills and extensive education and training. New techniques and treatments are always being developed, and the best therapists are committed to continually improving on their knowledge and skills. Taking all things into account, it’s hard work, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges…and the benefits go far beyond the criteria used for the US News list.
As physical therapists, we know that every day offers an exceptional opportunity to help people to live the lives they want to live. Whether our patient is an elite athlete, an injured soldier, a recent accident victim or someone recovering from surgery or another physical injury, their goals become our goals. And we work right alongside them to accomplish them.
That’s why when we see patients recover – when we see that they can once again stand tall, or walk, or climb stairs, or cook a meal, or run a marathon – we know that we played an important role in restoring their lives. And that’s really what makes our job one of the best jobs around.
Excel Physical Therapy and Apex Physical Therapy have merged to form E & A Physical Therapy. The new company will provide the Philadelphia area with excellent rehabilitation services for musculoskeletal conditions and other injuries.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 4, 2011 — Two of the largest privately owned physical therapy businesses in the region have merged to form a new company. Excel Physical Therapy of Philadelphia, PA and Apex Physical Therapy of Blue Bell, PA, are now consolidating operations as E & A Physical Therapy. The new practice, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, will feature 22 locations and 60 physical therapists.
E & A Physical Therapy draws from the experience of both brands, creating a company that will expertly rehabilitate those with musculoskeletal injuries, sports injuries and post-surgical conditions. Physical therapy offers a cost-effective alternative to surgery, disability and medication, and active adults can maintain a better quality of life through the use of personalized rehabilitation and exercise programs.
Todd Logic, PT from the Apex ownership team, said that the two companies’ values and patient-centered philosophy made for a perfect match.
“We are energized to strengthen our brand, grow our market share and demonstrate the excellence that physical therapists can provide,” he said.
“We want to continue to attract the highest quality of physical therapist and provide the one-on-one service that makes our treatment approach so effective. This merger will help us do that well into the future,” said Jeff Ostrowski, PT from the Excel ownership team.
About E & A Physical Therapy
E & A Physical Therapy provides rehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions in outpatient clinics throughout the region under the brands Excel Physical Therapy & Fitness and Apex Physical Therapy & Fitness. The company employs 60 therapists in 22 locations.
For more information, please contact Sarah Walmsley, PT Director of Marketing at Swalmsley(at)excelphsyicaltherapy(dot)com.