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Hoofing it 101

January 09, 2003|Leslee Komaiko

First steps:

Committed couch potatoes, Pink Dot delivery regulars and lazy bones should work up to 10,000 steps a day gradually. Many sources suggest measuring your steps over three typical days to get a daily average. Then add anywhere from 250 to 750 steps a day.

Shoe style:

Nancy Sinatra's hit aside, leave the boots at home. You'll want comfortable shoes. Running, walking or cross-training designs are best.

Getting equipped:

Pedometers can be found at just about any sporting goods store. Or shop the Internet (a recent search of "pedometer" turned up more than 62,000 sites). Among the best are www.pedometer.com and www.sportline.com. Meanwhile, www.youcansave.com offers a talking pedometer. Like having your very own annoying coach or spouse.

It's all relative:

When it comes to actual distance, your 10,000 steps are not necessarily the same as my 10,000 steps. For example, someone with a stride of two feet (two feet toe to toe) will travel 3.79 miles in 10,000 steps while someone with a stride of three feet will travel 5.68 miles.

Who started counting:

Thomas Jefferson is often credited as the inventor of the pedometer. However, 15th century drawings by Leonardo da Vinci suggest that he was most likely the conceptual originator.

Stay fluid:

The eight glasses a day of H20 mantra has come into question of late. But unless you're trying to re-create Moses' desert trek, why not hydrate? We love our lightweight fanny pack with built-in water-bottle holder and zipper compartments for keys, lip protection, etc. About $25 at Adventure 16 stores.

Medical endorsement:

Hippocrates said "walking is man's best medicine." And he didn't even have air soles!

A second opinion:

"I'm convinced from the research that a sedentary lifestyle kills you, and moderate activity like walking can be a lifesaver."

-- JoAnn Manson

Harvard Medical School

professor (on New York State

Physical Activity Web site).

You'll never walk alone:

According to Darie Henry, sales coordinator for Sportline, the country's largest pedometer manufacturer, its pedometer sales increased 75% in 2002 over the previous year.

-- Leslee Komaiko

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