10,000 steps a day means you’ll be walking roughly five miles and taking advantage of some major benefits. In addition to fitting in physical activity and lowering your risk of disease, walking those 10,000 steps can help improve your mood and energy levels. Walking is a low impact exercise that can be done just about anywhere—all you need is a good pair of shoes and the determination to get moving.
If you’re having trouble meeting that goal of 10,000 steps, it might be time to see where you can fit those extra steps in your day. We’ve come up with 10 tips to get you moving.
When it comes to getting your steps in you’ll need to try a few new things and remember, every bit counts. If you take public transportation, get off a few stops before work and walk the rest of the way. If you drive, consider walking if you live close or parking farther away from your building.
Occasionally there are those weekends when you just want to lounge around and do a whole lot of nothing, but for the most part you should make an effort to get moving in your free time. You might want to explore a nearby town on foot or take a hike at a local mountain—even a few hours shopping at the mall will greatly improve your step count. Just about any activity that gets you on your feet is a good plan for the weekend.
Whether it be a new tech device or a good old pedometer, investing in a tool that will track your steps is great motivation to move more. Set a goal—10,000 steps per day is highly recommended—and then make it your mission to beat it. If 10,000 is daunting at first, work from a number you feel comfortable with and increase your steps by 500 each week until you get to 10,000.
When asked how people can fit a workout into their busy schedules, fitness professionals often say that when you schedule your workout (and actually write it in your calendar), you’re far more likely to make it happen. The same goes for walking, add a walking appointment of 30 or 45 minutes of when you can fit it in and you’ll be more likely to stick to it. If you’re day-to-day is especially busy, make it a priority to get up earlier and do it first thing in the morning.
If you take your calls sitting down you could be missing out on a great opportunity to fit in a few more steps. Whether it’s a work call you can take outside or a personal call with a friend, those minutes on the phone add up and the steps could be adding up too.
Kids and pets can’t resist an adventure, especially when that adventure involves physical activity. Take a walk around the block or better yet, to the park and then break out the Frisbee or soccer ball. Running around with kids or pets doesn’t feel like exercise, but you’ll get a good workout in the process.
If you live within walking distance of the grocery store, the post office or pharmacy consider running your errands on two feet instead of hopping in the car. But even if you live too far to walk the whole way, park your car in the middle of the shops you need to visit and walk to each one.
You’ve certainly heard this tip before, but are you doing it? Taking the stairs is one of the easiest ways to fit in a few extra steps and log a few minutes of meaningful activity. You’ve got to get up to your floor anyway, so ditch the crowded elevator and opt for the stairs to burn calories and build strength.
Exercise is often better with a buddy and walking is no exception. Find or start a walking club in your area to stay accountable and make new friends or simply ask a friend or neighbor to join you. When you develop a routine you enjoy you’re far more likely to stick with it.
Sitting in a waiting room can be boring, frustrating and, most of all, unproductive, so skip the wait and take a walk if you get there early. Even just a few minutes walking nearby will improve your step count, so skip the stale magazines and stuffy waiting room and head outdoors.