Staying Active in Austin


Have you ever wondered how many steps you should take each day in order to stay healthy? Is 10,000 steps a day enough?

Many companies have implemented the 10,000-steps a day challenge in order to promote activity. 10,000 steps/day comes out to about 5 miles, which sounds like a lot, but really it’s not enough to make a huge impact on weight loss or any major physical activity.

The recommended number of steps by the Center for Disease Control is 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day and the Surgeon General’s recommendation for physical activity is to add 30-minutes of moderate intensity activity each day on top of your normal daily activities.

In short, 10,000 steps a day is a great place to start, but that should not be considered the “workout” for the day. Staying active is important for your joints, metabolism and overall well-being, but in order to gain strength and or lose weight, the steps must be combined with a proper diet and weight training.

Stay active, it’s beautiful outside. Our lakes have finally recovered from the drought and the greenbelt is greener than ever, so we have some suggestions for you!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

If you pass the lake on a weekend, or even a weekday during the summer, you are sure to see stand up paddle boards everywhere. Stand up paddle boarding is the new go to lake activity, and for good reason.

Image from SUP ATX of paddle boarders

A recent study by Bond Institute of Health and Sport in Australia just found that SUP proved to be scientifically beneficial to a person’s overall health. Sedentary individuals were studied after doing one-hour sessions of paddle boarding, and 100% of the time they were able to hold their abdominal exercises longer than before. Prone bridge, left and right Side Bridge were among the exercises studied.

SUPing also helps a person with their balance and proprioception, which can be useful in daily living, and helps slow down the aging process. Your glutes are important for spinal stabilization and are activated when balancing on the paddle board. Since most patients with lower back pain struggle with weak abdominal muscles, SUP is just what the doctor ordered! As long as you wear your sunscreen, the benefits for SUP are just the beginning of the fun you can have on the lake. Check out SUP ATX and they’ll get you set up!

Hiking & Climbing

Many of you spend your time running on town lake trail, but with the increased heat and humidity, the miles just seem to come harder and harder. Instead of slogging around in circles, try implementing some shorter high intensity running uphill or climbing stairs. Around town you can find many challenging hills such as Wilke Dr. in the Barton Hills area or the Hill of Life in the Greenbelt. If you prefer stairs, you can climb Mt. Bonnell, which is the highest point in Austin.

Hill of Life at the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, TexasTry running on your way up. It forces you to utilize more muscles through the hips and targets the same muscles used for squats and lunges. This is something a slow jog around the lake won’t do. When you strengthen these neglected muscles you’ll reduce your chance for injury. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair-climbing five days a week for eight weeks improved VO2 max by 17 percent. This means you have much more oxygen at your disposal during intense exercise.

Get outside and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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About the Author

Dr. Tommer Arbuckle received his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, CA, and continued his post-graduate education to become a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Dr. Arbuckle strives to maintain integrity, passion, and commitment with each patient he works with, allowing them to achieve their goals of optimal performance; he has committed himself to maintain a standard of care that utilizes the most up-to-date and effective techniques.