Hello all! Let me introduce myself, I am Nicole from over at GingerWorksForLife.com where I ponder what life would be like if life itself was your boss. I like to think I am a big city gal, but let’s face it, that is a delusion. I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and after a brief spurt in North Carolina for college, Minnesota is where I remain. Although I now work in downtown Minneapolis, I still retreat to the burbs each and every night. So, when asked to write a guest blog for a real big city girl I had to dig deep. What in the world could I write about that a New Yorker and likely New York readers could relate to.

Potential blog topics included everything from finding healthy street food to finding your fitness flow…both would have been fun to write but they didn’t scream classic NYC to me…then it hit me. WALKING. Legend has it, New Yorkers walk absolutely everywhere! Living out in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I drive almost everywhere, but I do get a taste of the “city walking life” when I get to work in Minneapolis. The skyways are a great place to get those steps in!

Walking is one of those activities that just about everyone can do, regardless of fitness level. It is the area of fitness most doctors recommend for those just starting an exercise program. And for those who are runner’s, like myself, walking is a great option for rest days and working slightly different muscles.

Recently, there has been a big push to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I have even seen public service campaigns about this. 10,000 steps is just about equivalent to 5 miles. This may seem like a lot, but putting on a pedometer everyday has shown me that 10,000 is a very attainable goal. I manage to walk around 1,000 steps just while hustling around my house during the morning rush to get out the door. By the time I actually make it out the door and to my office, I am usually to 2,000 steps. This is all before 8:30am people!

I use a FitBit One to track my steps each and every day. The FitBit is most definitely an investment, especially when you can get free pedometer’s through various outlets, but it is one I am happy I am. Just having the FitBit on me during the day reminds me that keeping my body moving is important. The extra cool thing about this little device is that it tracks the stairs you climb each day along with your sleep…yes, your sleep! If you wear your little FitBit to bed at night it will tell you how much you slept, how many times you woke up, and how efficient your sleep was. I have used this to find great patterns in my sleep and when I compare my sleep notes to my food log, I am able to make better decisions before bed, and thus sleep more efficiently.

My goal is to reach 10,000 steps without including my run. This goal forces me to take short breaks at the office to get in some steps. I have noticed that by doing this, and also committing to walking for half of my lunch break, I am able to reach my goal easily and the added benefit is that I find I am more productive at work. There are days that I slack and I find myself incredibly sluggish by about 2:30pm. That leaves 2.5 hours left of the workday! I’m sure my boss would prefer that I take a quick walk break and get back to work, rather than staring blankly at a wall for a couple of hours.

How many steps do you take in a day? If you haven’t hit 10,000 lately, make today the day!