10,000 Steps

Don't feel you have time for walking? A program called 10,000 Steps might be more your style than a formal exercise program. Originating in Japan, the concept has caught on in the states as a simple way to walk five miles a day, roughly 10,000 steps. All you need is a pedometer (available for as little as $20 at Web sites like www.pedometer.com, or at your local sports retailer). The device clips onto your waistband and measures each step you take. Even if you're basically sedentary, normal activities (getting up to grab the phone, typing on your computer) start you off with 2,000 or so paces. For the rest, you need to get creative—especially in winter—but that's part of the fun. Perhaps the dog could use another couple of walks around the block today. Or maybe the kids would enjoy an afternoon nature hike, complete with notebooks to record their findings. In truly inclement weather, head for the mall for some fast-paced window shopping, or to the gym's treadmill. Or, there's always the stairs at home; with enough visits to the attic and basement, you'll reach 10,000 steps in no time.