Whether you’ve just gotten a fitness tracker or you’ve had one for a while, this device can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Fitness trackers come programmed with a daily goal of 10,000 steps, which can be a breeze to accomplish on days when you’re super active or hitting the gym, but on other days this can seem like torture. Fortunately, there are some small changes that you can make to your daily routine in order to meet your daily goal of 10,000 steps.
Kill Some Time
Waiting for your child’s piano or dance lesson to end? Take a walk around the block to get some extra movement. If you find yourself waiting other places, like your doctor’s office, consider walking around the waiting room a few times to get steps.
Get Up and Move
Sitting at your desk all day isn’t good for your health or your productivity, so take a break every hour or so to get up and move around. “Take a break during your day, and go walk up and down a flight of stairs. It only takes a few minutes, but the benefits are huge,” says Lee Jordan. Not only do you boost your productivity and burn calories, you also increase your step count.
Walk to Work
Not everybody can use this tip, but if it is possible for you to walk to work, then do it. Walking to work can help you reach 10,000 steps super quickly and it’s great for the environment, so walk to work when you can. If you live in a rural or suburban area, simply park farther away from your destination or get off the bus one stop earlier than you need to.
Make it a Family Affair
Get in the habit of taking a walk with your family every evening after you eat supper. If you don’t have a spouse or kids, take your dog for a walk or just spend some time outside in nature by yourself.
Use a Different Bathroom
Using the bathroom right down the hallway gives you a few steps, but you can increase the number of steps you take during your bathroom break by going to one farther away or on a different level of your building.
Don’t So it All at Once
Meeting your goal of 10,000 steps can be overwhelming, and it becomes more so if you think of it as an all-or-nothing experience. Break your steps up into manageable numbers so that you can meet multiple goals during the day. Chris Jordan, the author of The 7 Minute Workout, suggests that you “aim for 2,000 steps before work, 2,000 mid-morning, 2,000 at lunch, 2,000 mid-afternoon and 2,000 in the evening. It will make hitting your goal much easier.”
Skip the Elevators / Escalators
Taking the stairs anytime you are able during the day, even just going up and down them a few times during a lunch break, can quickly help you reach 10,000 steps. Not only will it help you get your steps in, but Lee Jordan an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer, says it can help you in your fitness goals and in getting out the door faster. “Most people at the office use an elevator, so the steps are usually empty. People underestimate how good a workout step climbing is.”
Many of us are in the habit of simply sending an e-mail or making a quick call to a co-worker, but if you want to hit your 10,000 step goal, get up and walk to your co-worker to discuss what you need to.
Hang Out With Friends
Spend some time with your friends while working towards your 10,000 step goal. Take a walk around the neighborhood or head downtown and do some serious window (or actual) shopping and use this social time as a way to be more active.
Try to be Inefficient
You probably spend all day trying to be as efficient as possible; carrying in all the grocery bags at once, hauling all the laundry down the steps at one time or putting away as many items as possible in one fell swoop. Rather than be efficient, get extra steps by being really inefficient. Carry the grocery bags one or two a time, take smaller loads of laundry to the washing machine and put one item away before grabbing another to help meet your 10,000 step goal.
The American Heart Association endorses the 10,000 steps per day guideline, and it really can increase your health. Don’t let the number scare you, just use the above tips to help you meet your 10,000 step goal every day.