Did you know that Civil War foot soldiers walked an average of 10 to 15 miles each day? In fact, there were times when an army unit would march as many as 25 to 30 miles in a single day! However, this amount of travel was not the norm. An army moving at that pace would tire out too quickly and wouldn’t have much stamina left for battle.
How many miles do you walk each day?
Keep in mind that people during the mid-1800s were more accustomed to walking. The wealthy class had horses and carriages, but the other folks mostly had to walk to get where they needed to go. In our modern fast-paced society, we don’t have to walk nearly as much as our forefathers. We have cars, trains, and planes to take us where we need to go. Unfortunately, the results of these technologies aren’t 100% positive. Many of us have become too sedentary and don’t walk enough for good health.
In recent years, wearing a fitness tracker or pedometer has become quite popular. Many of these trackers work in conjunction with your smartphone or tablet; making it easy to track your progress and see how many steps and miles you walk each day. In our family, we each have our own FitBit. We’ve had a good time competing with one another to see who can walk the most steps each day.
Recent guidelines suggest walking at least 10,000 steps a day for optimal health. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Some people should to walk less, due to health issues or concerns.
How far is 10,000 steps anyway?
The average person’s stride is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes roughly 2,000 steps to walk one mile. So, the recommendation to walk 10,000 steps per day is about 5 miles a day. Keep in mind, the average soldier during the Civil War walked nearly double that amount or more, each and every day!
Walk for Good Health
It’s a good idea to aim for 10,000 steps a day, as long as you are medically cleared to do so. If you have any health concerns seek your physician’s advice first.
Start small. The average sedentary person walks about 3,000 steps a day. So begin there and gradually increase your daily steps a little bit each week, until you work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. It’s okay if it takes you several weeks to get there! Make it a family challenge and work together to have everyone meet their individual goals.
There are many ways to increase your daily amount of steps. Here are just a few ideas:
- Take an after-dinner family walk together outside.
- Enjoy nature. Go for a hike!
- Walk the dog.
- Dance! Have a family dance party.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.
- Park further away from the store entrance.
- Walk to local attractions if possible.
- Get your neighborhood friends involved and start a walking club.
- When it rains or is too cold outside, use a treadmill if you have access to one.
Do you have any tips you’d like to add to our list? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.