When I bought a new pedometer last Saturday I decided to try out the 10,000 step daily walking regime. The premise is that most people do not walk enough - mostly from the couch to the kitchen and from the front door to the car, a distance far short of the recommended daily amount of exercise. Seriously, many people will find that they walk 3,000 or so steps just in the course of a daily routine, but a greater effort is required for optimal health.
Carrying around a pedometer, I'm finding that more exertion is needed than just my usual 30 minute walk and the cumulative pacing around the house. I need to take an additional walk to make up the deficit. Websites that discuss the 10,000 steps typically offer what they term as "creative" ideas to add these extra steps in the day, recommendations such as "use the stairs, walk your dog, or park the car far away from the store." These ideas don't work for me - I walk the dogs plenty enough, I don't have a car, and my pedometer doesn't read vertical distances. I've come up with the New York version.
The 10,000 Daily Steps in New York
• Realize that you've left your cell phone at the restaurant and then walk back to get it.
• Meet a friend for drinks far away from a subway stop, perhaps around Avenue C and E. 8th Street.
• On a whim, decide to walk the 10,000 steps from 8th Street and 108th Street.
• Give up that you'll ever get on the 4, 5, or 6 trains at rush hour and walk home.
• Wait until the subway floods again and walk to your appointment across the Brooklyn Bridge.
• Take a visiting friend to the Empire State Building and decide to take the stairs to the observation booth, because the wait for the elevator is too long.
• Go find a restaurant in the West Village on a Friday night without a dinner reservation.
• Take two continuing education classes, one at NYU and one at Columbia, and walk from classroom to classroom.
• Walk back and forth on Museum Mile five times and see every exhibition.
• Organize a march in support of congestion pricing.
Image: Walking Wall Street, a distance far short of 10,000 steps. Speaking of, I'll discuss the global recession on Saturday. I see a golden age of walking ahead of us.