Are you struggling to hit your daily step goal? Getting in those 10,000 steps can be a challenge, especially if you have a sedentary job or limited mobility. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to increase your daily step count and get the health benefits of regular physical activity.
First, let’s talk about why 10,000 steps is important. The idea of 10,000 steps originated from a marketing campaign for a Japanese pedometer in the 1960s. However, the number has since been backed up by research showing that taking 10,000 steps per day can have numerous health benefits. These include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Walk at lunch.
Walk around the block during lunch.
Take a walk in the park, if you’re lucky enough to work near one.
Walk around the mall when it’s closed, or even better—during business hours! (I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.)
Walk around your office building and get some fresh air while you’re at it.
Take a walk on the school grounds if you teach there, or just take your kids for a stroll around campus on their lunch break.
If all else fails and you have no other options in sight: go for a pleasant stroll through your neighborhood as long as it’s safe to do so! You never know—you may find something interesting along the way!
Take your dog for a walk.
Dogs need exercise, too! A dog walk is a great way to get your daily steps in and bond with your pup.
Dogs need to burn off energy. There are few things in life that can’t be improved by just going for a walk. This includes dogs, who can become bored, frustrated or destructive when they don’t get enough exercise.
Dogs need socialization opportunities. Even if you think your dog loves being alone all day while you’re at work (and they probably do), taking them out into the world will give them an opportunity to meet other dogs and people—which will make them happier than anything else could!
Dogs need fresh air and sunshine: They also love being outside on nice days where they can sniff around and explore new things like trees or squirrels or fire hydrants (the list goes on).
Park further away in the parking lot.
Park further away in the parking lot. When you’re driving around looking for a spot, don’t just follow the crowd and park as close to the door as possible. Park in the back of the lot, or on an opposite side of where everyone else is parked. If you can find shade (or if it’s not too hot), park there instead of under direct sunlight. If your office has assigned parking spots, be sure to get one on your side of town—it’ll save time and money!
Get off a stop or two earlier
If you’re commuting by train, bus or a matatu, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way to work. You’ll have more time to listen to music, talk on the phone, catch up on news and make a to-do list. It might feel like a hassle at first but once you’re in the habit of walking instead of taking public transit every day it will become second nature.
Listen to music while you walk.
Walking is a great way to get some exercise and stay in shape, but it can be hard to find time in your schedule. Music is a great way to make even the longest workout feel shorter, so listen to music you enjoy while you walk!
While walking, try listening to music that makes you want to walk faster or further than normal. This can help motivate you during your workouts and keep them from feeling boring.
Talk on the phone while you walk.
If you’re walking to work, or because your office is close to a park, consider taking a call while on the walk. You can get in some steps without sacrificing valuable productivity time. If you’re walking with the dog, take advantage of those extra minutes by having an important phone call.
Don’t be afraid to make a call when you’re meeting up with friends for lunch at their favorite restaurant—the fresh air will do them good too! It’s also nice for them not to have to shout over loud music and clanging plates in order for both sides of a conversation to hear each other clearly.
Don’t type in an address into your map app but plot it out as a walking route instead.
If you’re anything like me, you probably use your phone to navigate the world. You can find addresses, look up hours of business and even get directions to nearby attractions. But there’s something missing from most mapping apps: walking directions!
It may sound strange, but it’s actually quite simple. Instead of typing in an address into your map app (which will tell you how long it’ll take to walk there), plot out your route as a walking route instead. This way you’ll know exactly how much time and effort it will take before getting started on the road—and be able to make adjustments if needed!
If you get up early to work out, try adding a 20-minute walk as a warm-up or cool down.
20 minutes is a good amount of time to get your heart rate up, blood flowing and muscles warmed up or cooled down. You can also use the time to run through a mental checklist of what you need to accomplish that day. For example, if you have an important meeting after work, think about how you will prepare for it so that nothing gets overlooked by the end of your 20-minute walk.
Try a walking meeting!
Walking meetings are a great way to get your steps in, and they’re also good for your health. When you’re walking with someone else, it’s easier to stay focused on the conversation because you’re moving instead of stationary. When you’re sitting down, it’s easy to get distracted by other things in the room or on your phone.
If you’ve never tried a walking meeting before and want to give it a try, here are some tips:
If possible, meet in person (not over speakerphone) so that both people can see each other’s faces as they talk. Even if it means taking an hour-long walk together through town during rush hour traffic! This will make sure that no one gets lost or distracted during the meeting. It will also help build trust between coworkers who may not know each other very well yet.
Choose somewhere safe where pedestrians aren’t likely to be struck by cars while crossing intersections near busy streets; avoid large parking lots or areas where there aren’t any sidewalks nearby either! Look out for hazards like railroad tracks too—it’s not worth risking injury just so that someone else doesn’t have time constraints.”
Take your family for a walk around the neighborhood
If you have young children, walking with them can be a great way to get your steps in. Take your family for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening, when it’s cooler and the sun isn’t so harsh. Let them hold onto the stroller handles if they’re too young to keep up! It’s good practice for them, too!
If you don’t have kids but want to take advantage of this opportunity as well, consider walking with a friend or neighbor who has children who are close to yours’ age. You could even combine it with some playtime at home once everyone is done getting their steps in!