You've heard of a 12-step program, but a 10,000-step program? Seems an absurd concept. But according to the U.S. President's Fitness Challenge (USPFC), 10,000 is the number of steps a fit person should take each day.

You may think you're meeting that goal handily because you're always on the go, running errands and walking regularly. But the truth is, even a person who walks a half hour per day (an average of 3100 to 4100 steps) may not come close to the 10,000 mark.

To gauge how many steps you typically take in a day, the USPFC recommends wearing a pedometer (a device invented, incidentally, by another fitness-conscious president, Thomas Jefferson). Once the pedometer tallies your daily paces, you'll know the next step to take: pat yourself on the back, or keep moving...