14 ways to get your 10,000 steps in
It’s easier said than done, right? Here’s how to reach your fitness goal...
One easy way to reach your fitness goals is by putting one foot in front of the other – literally!
It’s safe to say that not all of us have the motivation or the time to bust out 40 minutes of intense HIIT training during our busy lives. So, let’s try to go for a more realistic, achievable goal that can be added to our lifestyle without us even noticing!
Studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps a day can lower blood pressure, better blood glucose levels and improve our mood. Plus, it can help us achieve the currently recommended activity target of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week without us really having to break a sweat!
But it’s easier said than done. How can we reach this goal without having to walk five hundred miles and five hundred more, as The Proclaimers would have us do? Well, here are our 14 easy ways to get those steps in…
1. Invest in a step counter
Ain’t nobody got time to count every single step they take throughout the day. That’s why there are a range of Apple Watches, Fitbits or smartphone apps out there to do the job for us. Plus, you can compete against your friends – healthy completion is always good, right?
2. Park far away
Even the few steps you take walking to or from your car add up quickly. Plus, if you park at the back of the car park, you’ll help save your car from dents and if you’re rubbish at parking (like me), it’s a perfect excuse for parking miles away!
3. Walk between errands
Say it’s a Saturday morning and you have several errands you need to knock out. Instead of driving in between each task, park in a central location and walk to and from every hotspot. Or, if you can get to all your errands on foot from your house, that’s even better.
4. Make loops around your house
Yes, another rather goofy suggestion that’ll give your household members a good laugh, but you’ll be the only one laughing when you’re reaching 10,000 steps. When you get some spare time, find a place where you can walk around in a loop – the larger, the better – for an extended period of time.
5. Incorporate walking into your commute
If you can, walk to work, or walk the little ones in your life to school. And if you can’t, why not drive part of the way and walk the rest? If you take the bus, walk to the bus stop that’s one further away than your usual stop, or get off the bus a few stops early. Plus, it helps the environment too!
6. Get a dog
Nothing will get you out of the house faster than a dog who needs to do some business. Check out your local animal shelters such as Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter or Dog Trust Darlington for foster home projects; you’ll be doing your body and a homeless pooch a favour.
But don’t just get a dog just for this sole reason; they come with a lot of hard work!
7. Make the most of arriving early
If you show up to an appointment, meeting or event early, don’t just sit and scroll through your phone to pass the time. Instead, you can use the extra minutes to fit in a quick walk. Every minute counts!
8. Get a walking buddy
Having a friend to stroll with whilst you both put the world to rights is a perfect way to get those steps in without realising that you’re even doing some exercise. The best therapy you need.
9. Make multiple trips
When unloading shopping bags from the car or carrying laundry to your bedroom, it’s tempting to try to take as few trips as possible. Instead, try taking more trips than you need to and putting one item away at a time. Sounds daft, right? But you’ll thank us later when you see those steps clock up.
10. Take the long way
When you’re at work and need to go to the toilet or water fountain, skip the closest one and take a detour to one on a different floor. Ditch the lift to hit the stairs or take the longest route there.
11. Go on a walk on your break
During your lunch break, go on a 15 minute walk around the block. Not only will you get your steps in, but it will make you feel more focused when you’re back in the office. And remember to get up frequently during the day.
12. Get a treadmill desk
Check with your company to see if they provide treadmill desks – yes, it’s a thing – for employees. Walking while you’re typing will take some getting used to, but it’s worth it. Get those hours in while getting those steps in.
13. Walk and talk
If you like to chat on the phone, this is a great way to get in some extra steps every day. Take your business calls on the go or skip the conference room and have walking meetings with your colleagues.
14. Walk while watching TV
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ Netflix binge at the weekend? Make those hours of watching series count by walking on the spot while watching your show. This is guaranteed to make you feel less guilty for your self-care lazy days! Or if you’re watching a TV show, why not stand up and march during the advert breaks?