I had this on my mind and I wanted to write about it before I forgot…
I love to live a healthy lifestytle. Even in the states, I try to live a “naturalist” type lifestyle. I primarily eat meat, fish, and vegetables only. Very little rice here and there. I try to avoid most grains at all cost. No fast food! And to top it off, regular physical activity. This is my life at home.
Yet, since I’ve been here. I’ve eaten more rice than I would in a year at home. I have also eaten foods that are much more nutritionally dense than the food I usually eat at home, a change that I will take into practice upon my return.
However, that’s not all this blog is about. No one cares what I eat or won’t eat or puke or anything of the sort…
This blog is about how much people walk in Japan. Japan has a very strong currency right now. It is very expensive to buy, drive, and maintain a vehicle. So, most Japanese opt for either a bike or a good old-fashioned pair of legs, which is my real reason for writing. Out of sheer morbid curiosity, I bought a pedometer at the “ç™¾å††” (Hyaku Yen) Shop. That’s pretty much the equivalent to a dollar store in the U.S. I did this because I know I’ve lost like 10 pounds in the 6 weeks I’ve been here. I also know I’ve been eating less, but not substantially so that would warrant such a loss (not that I’m complaining). So, I tested it. Today, I walked just a little bit less than I usually do, and yet my grand total came to approx. 14,000 steps. So, it’s safe to say that I walk an avereage of about 14,000 to 15,000 steps a day. And that does not include my cultural excursions.
What do these numbers mean? Why should I care?
Well, the Japanese have the highest average lifespan in the world, for one. Secondly, in America, people walk so much less. Where I live, it’s a bit difficult to walk everywhere because there is a lot of highway and suburban area that is a bit far for a regular walk to the store. However, this too, I plan on putting to practice upon my return.
Here are some fun facts to help get my point across.
It takes about 2,000 steps to walk 1 mile.
Most people who are not regularly active (don’t lie to yourself, you know who you are) average about 1,000 – 3,000 steps a day.
There is a program calles the “10,000 steps program”, that encourages people to walk at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) a day in order to improve overall physical health. Obviously, improving your physical health is bound to improve your mental and emotional health on some levels.
The point is that I have become a huge advocate for walking regularly. There is very little need to work out excessively. In fact, aside from walking, I practice Karate. These are the only forms of exercise I use anymore because they are never boring and I feel better now than I did when I was 18. or 19…or…well…you get the idea….
So start walking. And let me know how many steps you’ve conquered…or how many steps have conquered you.