Do you remember pedometers? I'm talking about the old-school, digital display, clip-to-your-shoelaces step-counters. Who really knows how accurate those were? We've come a long way since then, and it seems that Fit Bits and Apple Watches have slowly taken over the world. As a (pretty positive) result, there's been a tremendous increase in people paying more attention to how much they move in a day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, an average of 10,000 steps per day is ideal. Athletes, avid runners, restaurant workers, and mail carriers, among others, probably don't have to think too much about hitting that daily step goal. If you're an office worker or tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle, closing your rings might pose more of a challenge. You may think 10,000 steps is unattainable, but the truth is that small changes and seemingly insignificant changes can add up. Increasing your daily steps by even a few thousand can help you feel better and keep your heart healthy.
Here are five easy tips to get you on track to close your rings, hit your goals, and lead a more active life.
1. Park in the Back of the Parking Lot
Do you find yourself circling the parking lot, searching for the closest, most convenient spot to park? If so, you could miss out on hundreds of potential steps to add to your day. Not only will parking further from the front door help you hit your step goal, but it will also give you an opportunity to enjoy being outside for a little longer than normal. This is especially important if you work in an office where you might not get any fresh air throughout the workday.
Here's a challenge: the next time you go to the store, really think about where you're parking. Try parking five spots further than the spot you'd typically go for. Then, the next time you're at that store, park five more spots further. Little by little, you'll start tacking on more and more steps. An added bonus? It'll start seeming a lot less cumbersome to find parking.
2. Take One Intentional Walk Per Day
Taking the time to consciously decide to take one short little walk a day helps you close your rings and elevates your mindset. You've taken time for yourself! I'd call that self-care and a pretty simple form of it to boot. Now, I'm not saying you have to lace up your gym shoes and hop on the treadmill every day (can you say boring?). Rather, challenge yourself to walk to the mailbox, pick a lamp post or tree or neighboring house to walk to, set a timer and spend ten minutes walking around your house, or walk to the end of the street and back. Small changes, people. Those are what add up in the end!
Other ways you can do this include:
- Walking around while ads play before your TV show or movie comes on.
- Pacing the kitchen while you wait for your water to boil, the microwave to beep, or the coffee to brew.
- Assigning yourself one active chore a day, like dusting, sweeping, or mopping.
- Finding every excuse not to sit when you're doing sedentary tasks like folding laundry, answering emails, or reading a book.
3. Take the Stairs
Elevators are a convenient necessity for many people. The disabled, the elderly, and others can easily travel up or down a building with ease. But if you're able-bodied, consider taking the stairs. You'll be shocked at how many extra steps you can add to your day when you do.
Are you already cringing at this suggestion? Here's how to get started:
Stairs between floors typically include landings and two flights. Each floor will have a door that leads to the main hallway, and the elevators are usually nearby. If you have to travel up multiple floors, start with one. You can exit the stairwell and take the elevator the rest of the way. When you're ready, try two floors. Then, three. Soon enough, you'll be tackling the stairs with ease and hitting your step goal without a second thought.
4. Set an Alarm to Remind You to Move
If you have an Apple Watch or Fit Bit, you may be familiar with the convenient notification that pops up when you haven't moved in a while. Make sure this notification is switched on, and listen to it. If you work in a position that requires a lot of sitting, find ways to stand or pace while you work. Do you have a boring Zoom meeting that totally could have been an email? One where you don't plan on having your camera on anyways? Get up and walk around during your meeting or phone call. Either way, just standing up for a while after sitting for hours can help to bring up your heart rate and get you those extra, precious steps.
You might also consider implementing "marching minutes" as part of your daily routine. This method involves standing up and marching in place for one minute every half hour. It'll really add up, and the proof will show as your steps increase.
5. Dance it Out!
Put on your favorite upbeat tune (Lizzo is always a favorite, but Physical by Olivia Newton-John might be more apt), and dance! Dancing will not only help increase your daily step count, but it will get your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing. It's certainly the simplest way to get a few more steps in, but also the most fun.
Other Ways to Hit Your Daily Step Goal
Here are some other methods to close your rings and reach 10,000 steps a day:
- Carry your groceries into the house one at a time and take multiple trips.
- Offer to walk a neighbor's dog or get their mail for them.
- Take active lunch breaks by allotting half of your break for walking around your workplace.
- Discover a podcast that you love and only let yourself listen to it while you're walking as motivation.
- Get off one stop early if you take public transportation.
Are you having a hard time getting your steps in because your feet hurt? If so, it's time to seek professional help. Heel pain is common but not normal, and you certainly shouldn't let it hold you back from leading the life you desire! Give us a call today and learn how you can get back on your feet with no downtime! For your convenience, a team member will reach out to you within one business day if you fill out this contact form.