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Ask the Trainer: Taking the First Steps

By Billy Locke
Published: Friday, January 30, 2009, at 05:30PM
Library Tower Security Hassling Photographer Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Bunker Hill Steps, next to Library Tower and across from the Central Library.

The New Year’s confetti has long since been swept away but hopefully your 2009 exercise resolution has not done the same!

Fear not, for I am going to provide you with a series of tips to keep you on your game throughout the year.

In this first installment of blogdowntown's new feature, "Ask the Trainer," I'm going to talk about what I like to call "The Lazy Person’s Weight-loss Trick" - not because you are necessarily lazy if you choose to lose weight this way but because it is so easy to do so.

First, march straight to one of Downtown's local sports stores and purchase an inexpensive pedometer.

You can get an expensive one with all the bells and whistles, but they can be difficult to figure out, which means you will be more likely to end up ignoring it.

Now, with your pedometer attached to your side your goal is to work up to taking 10,000 steps a day, 7 days a week. By taking 10,000 steps a day, you will burn an additional 500 calories.

This plan executed 7 days a week = 3,500 calories or the equivalent of one pound of fat.

Also, Downtown is a great place to get your 10,000 steps in. My favorite place to do so is at the US Bank building stairs on 5th Street, across from the public library. The staircase is beautifully designed with a bubbling waterfall that runs the full length.

If you are satisfied with walking the stairs, they will provide ample resistance. But to get even more of a challenge, try running up the stairs and looping down the hill on Grand, just east of the stairs. The loop is great because you can switch directions when you get bored, running up Grand and down the stairs for variety.

The stairs are a good way to knock out a quick thousand steps off your total goal for the entire day. Stairs are also great for toning your butt and thighs because of the extra resistance you encounter climbing them.

If you find that you are not able to perform 10,000 steps initially, try counting your normal steps with the pedometer for three days, and then calculate the average. Add 250 additional steps to that number to get your new daily goal for the first week. Each week thereafter, add another 250 steps until you ultimately reach 10,0000 steps a day.

Within one year’s time, by averaging 10,000 steps a day, you could lose up to 52 pounds.

The beauty of this tip is that you can step in place wherever you are to help reach your daily goal. You can do it while standing in front of the television, or when talking on the phone at your work desk. Be creative and make it work for you.

Check back next week and meet this year's body makeover participant to see how he is doing so far. And, please, write in with any wellness questions you might have. We will answer a few of them each week. Just send your questions to askthetrainer@blogdowntown.com.

'Til next time - Exercise More, Play Hard, Work Smart.

Billy the Trainer

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