What could be simpler than increasing the number of steps you take? It’s even easier when you have a pedometer that does the counting for you. It’s part of the reason focusing on increasing your activity to 10,000 steps became so popular. Most people don’t walk that much during their normal day. They have to focus specifically on increasing the number of steps. One simple way to increase your steps is to park further from the store so you take extra steps, but there are others.
Before you start, know the ground rules and make it a game.
You don’t have to do all 10,000 steps at one time. The average person takes 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily. You only have to supplement that amount. Each mile is approximately 2,000 to 2,500 steps, depending on your stride. Adding a 3-mile walk daily would be enough for most. You don’t have to do it all at once, you can take a 15-minute walk at lunch, in the morning, or after work, to add 1700 steps. If you’re sedentary, start by doing that, then add more minutes to your walk or more walks throughout the day.
If it’s cold out, hot out, or just really dark, get steps in while watching TV.
Nobody said you have to walk outside. You can watch TV and walk in place or create a line to walk back and forth while you’re binging on your favorite show. If there are commercials, it’s the perfect way to use the time. You can even make those steps count more by running to the laundry room and folding a few pieces of clean laundry. Do a few and then run to put them away before your program starts again.
Do you wait in line frequently or take the elevator?
If you’re waiting in line, pace a bit. It improves circulation and helps you reach your goal. Instead of taking an elevator, take the stairs. Going down is a cinch, but going up can be harrowing. Take as many floors of steps as you safely can and use the elevator for the rest. If you’re getting together with the gang after work, suggest you all walk to your destination. Instead of a drink, get bottled water. It will save a lot of calories.
- Brown bag it to work and walk to the park during lunch. Eating your lunch on a park bench surrounded by Mother Nature provides relaxation. The walk there increases activity.
- Boost the benefit of the walk by making it a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout. Just alternate your pace from the highest intensity to recovery and back again. It helps you get in shape faster.
- Instead of googling for an item you want, go to the mall. Walking from store to store or even within a superstore can increase the number of steps you take. You’ll also get to see the item you want and can tell if it’s what you expected.
- You can increase your steps, but you also need other types of fitness. Strength, flexibility, and balance training are important to be your fittest. Always check with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise program.
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