Creative Tips for Increasing Daily Walking Steps
We all know that getting daily exercise is an important factor in staying fit, maintaining or losing weight, and being healthy overall. And, we have all heard the recommendation that people walk at least 10,000 steps per day to maintain good health.
To get to 10,000 steps, most people need to consciously increase their activity beyond their normal daily routine. One great way to increase steps is to make time for exercise by going to the gym or outside to do your favorite exercise (walking, jogging, biking).
There are many additional ways to get in add extra steps into your daily routine, without drastic changes to your lifestyle. Little steps here and there can add up and before you know it, you’ll be at 10,000 steps!
Here are some ideas for how to increase your daily steps at home, while out and about, and while at work. I've given step equivalents for all activities.
So, clip on your pedometer, and start counting!
Increase Steps At Home
- Pace or walk around the house when on the phone. Why stand in the kitchen or lie on the couch while talking on the phone? Walk around the house while chatting instead. One 10-minute conversation = 1,000 steps
- Pace while brushing your teeth. It may sound funny, but really, there’s no reason to stand still while brushing. Plus, it is recommended that you brush for a full 2 minutes, so why not get some extra steps in at the same time? Pacing while brushing teeth: 200 steps
- Watch less TV. Think about it. What would you be doing if you weren’t watching TV? Probably something more active. If you do watch TV, try to watch less and use that newly found time to do something active instead. At the very least, get up at each commercial break and take a walk around the house or apartment. This will also help curb the increased appetite that can come with food-related commercials. Walking for one 3-minute commercial break = 300 steps
Increase Steps Out and About
- Walk the aisles at the store. Explore a little while shopping. Walk up and down all the aisles in the store (though perhaps skip the candy aisle!) You may find some new ingredients for dinner or that knick knack you’ve been meaning to buy for the house. One grocery store trip = 400-600 steps
- Park your car further away from your destination. We are all so well trained to find the closest spot possible, but park at the edge of the parking lot and you easily add steps to your day. Round trip walk to car = 200-400 steps
- Walk or bike to the store. Even better, ditch your car and walk or bike to your errands. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 60% of trips made to run errands are less than 1 mile away. Biking 1 mile each way to the store = 1,200 steps
Increase Steps at Work
- Take the long way to and from the bathroom. Drinking extra water will mean more trips, plus is good for your overall health as well. Three daily bathroom trips x 200 extra steps each way = 1,200 steps
- Walk while reading. Have a long report you need to slog through? Read it while walking! If you’re lucky, you may have a long, quiet hallway that you can pace as you read. 10 minutes of walking slowly while reading = 600 steps
- Walk around the block for a break. Instead of sitting in the cafeteria chatting or eating snack, grab a colleague and take a walk around the block. This will also stimulate creative thinking and revitalize you, especially during afternoon doldrums. 10 minute walk around the block = 1,000 steps
- Walk or bike to work. Again, your ability to do this will depend on how far away you live from your office, but if you live close enough, biking to work is a great way to build exercise right into your day. Many workplaces even have showers these days. 3-mile bike ride 2x per day = 4,500 steps
Reaching 10,000 Steps
Getting up to 10,000 steps per day doesn't mean having to spend hours at the gym or suffering through unpleasant workouts. Adding steps here and there throughout the day, at home, while out and about, or at work will help you adopt a more active lifestyle and reach the recommended 10,000 daily steps.
Tips for Increasing Steps While Caring for Children
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