“Renew You” Challenge – Be a part of my Weekly Challenge to help set you off in the right direction for bringing health to your week. This week we’re talking about walking!

Okay, confession time: How many times have you circled a parking lot in search of the spot closest to the front of the store? Or taken the escalator when you could have easily taken the stairs? Believe me, I’m guilty too—sometimes my days are so busy that I just want to get where I’m going as quickly as possible, but the reality is we just aren’t walking as much as we should—and it can have a pretty big impact on our health.

They did a study recently at the University of Tennessee that compared people in the U.S. to folks in other countries, and guess what they found? Americans average only about 5,100 steps a day, compared with other countries like Australia and Switzerland where people average more than 9,550 steps daily—or even Japan where they average about 7,200 steps each day. And not only that, but American men are outwalking the women by about 400 steps a day, so I say let’s get moving!

Even if you don’t like to exercise, walking is a really easy way to improve your health, and it’s something the whole family can get involved in. Experts say just 30 minutes a day three to five times a week provides countless benefits for the whole body, including heart health, weight loss and so much more. This week, do your best to add more steps to your day, whether you start parking farther away, add in a brisk walk during your lunch break, or even walk the dog instead of just letting him out in the yard. As your steps add up, so will the health benefits.