If you’ve got a pedometer or an activity tracker, chances are you already know how addictive they can be. Keeping track of how many steps you take is fantastic motivation to be moving all the time. Even if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, a pedometer is a great investment to help encourage yourself to stay active. Many healthcare professionals recommend aiming for 10,000 steps per day as a good level of activity for adults. While it may sound like a lot, it is actually pretty achievable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
For some of us, particularly those that spend most of the day at a desk, it can be a little bit tough to hit the magic 10,000 steps. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the simple ways you can reach your step goals without doing another exercise session.
Park further away
When you head out each day, make a habit of parking as far from the doors as possible. Whether you’re going to uni, heading in for work or doing the weekly grocery shop, giving yourself that extra bit of walking distance keeps you on track to reach your daily goal.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
You’ve probably heard this tip a million times - and with good reason! It’s such a simple way to take more steps and work your leg muscles as well. If you’re feeling super energetic, you can even run up the stairs a couple of times to get the blood pumping. Same things applies to escalators too!
When thinking about all the time you spend sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, you probably don’t realise how much walking you do. Covering the whole area of the house can seriously tack on some extra distance. Even unpacking the dishwasher will have you doing more steps. Come on, I know you can do it! ;)
Catch-up with a walk
If you normally meet a friend for coffee, suggest going for a walk instead. You can still chat as you walk around the neighbourhood. Often you’ll find yourself so distracted by the conversation that you don’t even notice how far you’ve gone. To make the most of your activity, try to vary the intensity or walk up and down a few hills.
For group meet-ups or times when meeting at a cafe is unavoidable, plan to arrive earlier. That way you can take a stroll past the shops first to squeeze in some extra steps.
Mow the lawn
While it’s not the most glamorous of chores, mowing the lawn is actually pretty helpful. Using a push mower, both your legs and your arms get a bit of a work out. Even if you only have a small patch of lawn, you’ll be surprised how quickly your step count increases as you start mowing. There’s also the benefit of being outside and having plenty of time to plan your goals as you circle the yard.
Do you spend 10 minutes a day catching up on Instagram or Facebook? Use that time to increase your step count, rather than scrolling your feed while laying on the couch. Walk around a safe space (such as your home or backyard) as you read the latest blog posts or browse social media. DON’T try to do this out on the footpath, for obvious safety reasons.
Pace while you’re waiting
Instead of staring into space (or being tempted by the goodies in the fridge) while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, go for a walk to the other end of the house. March on the spot while brushing your teeth. Do laps of the hallway while you’re on the phone — especially when you’re waiting to speak with an operator. Stuck on a problem and need to clear your head? Pacing gets the blood pumping, so you may be able to work through a complex issue much easier.
With just a few simple changes, you can really increase the amount of steps you do each day. The more time you spend on your feet, the more likely it is you’ll hit your step count. Even household chores all count towards your daily step goal, so keep wearing your activity tracker. How do you guys make your steps count each day? Let me know in the comments :)Love, Kayla xx