Whether you have jumped on the Fitbitting Bandwagon, or you are simply trying to move more throughout the day, here are a few tricks I’ve discovered on getting at least 10,000 steps every single day.
Take a Break
If you’re anything like me, you start working and get sucked into your computer for hours. Whether you’re responding to the Never Ending Story of your inbox, or you’re locked into your calendar, there are days when you start work, and next thing you know the sun set without you even noticing. On these kinds of days, you have to be intentional about getting more movement than the sporadic trip to the restroom. The easiest way I have discovered to get myself out of desktop gridlock is to set an alarm. Every couple of hours the alarm on my phone goes off with a reminder to stand up and get moving. When I hear the alarm, I immediately stop what I’m doing; I have to. I know that if allow myself to finish up one last sentence, that one sentence turns into two, which turns into three, which eventually turns into several hours and my alarm goes off again. So, when the alarm goes off, get up, stretch your legs, take a lap around your office, your house, the library, where ever you might be, and keep moving for five minutes. You’re getting those steps in, PLUS the mental break is great for your productivity and mental acuity (another topic for another day).
Whether you are just getting to the office, pulling into the grocery store parking lot, or taking a trip to the mall, make it a point to park farther away than you normally would. I don’t mean snagging the spot one lane over. Go big or go home on this one! Take the absolute farthest spot from your office entrance, or find a spot far from the cart return (and by all means take the extra steps to return your cart), or if you’re really inspired before your shopping excursion, choose the parking lot on the opposite end of the mall. Just imagine all those steps you’re tracking as you traverse through the crowds of shoppers. The bottom line is this, if your typical course of action is to get the quickest, closest, and most efficient parking spot, just do the opposite.
Take the Stairs
This one has you probably rolling your eyes in a duh-like fashion, so I won’t waste your time telling you what you already know. Just like picking a decently far parking spot, take the stairs over the elevator at every opportunity (assuming you’ve budgeted your time to do so). You’ve heard all of that before, but what about taking the stairs at home (or if you live in a one-story, taking some extra steps). How many times have you been sitting on the couch, or lying in bed, or finishing up dinner, and you either need or want something, but you decide it’s too far away? Don’t tell me I’m the only one here guys! Lying all snuggly in bed when you realize you are desperately thirsty, but getting out into the cold and walking to the kitchen is THE LAST thing you want to do, am I right? Well, now you have some extra motivation to take the trek downstairs (and presumably back UP). Getting extra steps is now on the forefront of your mind, so you do it. You just do it. You get up out of that fluffy goodness of pillows and down comforters, and you get that glass of water. You just do!
Now, I understand that some people do not live in the temperate climate of Southern California, so I’ll concede that this might not be possible for some of you year round. Don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you too! For now, though, let’s assume it is a beautiful day . . . Slap on some sunscreen, and hit the road Jack! Seriously, what are you doing inside on a day like this? Go for a walk around your neighborhood, take a hike (literally, not metaphorically), try something you’ve never done before like rollerblading, paddle boarding, or rock climbing. Scroll through Groupon to find a new adventure. Call up a friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect with, and invite them to join you. With a little bit of creative intention, the possibilities are seriously endless.
You have a thirty minute lunch break, you’ve finished up your sandwich, and you still have 10 minutes before you have to report in. Ordinarily you would lounge around the break room, or sit back and bust through the most recent licorice forest in Candy Crush, but why not take advantage of those few, precious moments to enjoy some fresh air? If weather or time do not permit a jaunt outside, why not take the stairs down to the lobby and do a couple of laps around the foyer as you ask the guard how his day is going. Be sure to head back upstairs in time to reach your desk before your boss clocks back in. Who knows, maybe you’ll have lost track of time chatting with guard and the leisurely stroll turns into a mad dash (get that heart pumping!). The point is, if you have time to watch a show, play a game, or lurk your newsfeed, you have plenty of time to get in a few extra steps.
Join or Start a Challenge
If you have a fitbit, you may have noticed that there is a tab for challenges in the app. This has proven to be an excellent way to find motivation to get your buns off the couch. You can easily find friends to challenge through Facebook, your contacts, or by inviting them with an e-mail. Fitbit has also designed different types of challenges, so depending on your competitive nature, you can walk to annihilate the competition, or you can collect a group of challengers to set goals with and cheer each other on. I thought that I was doing pretty great hitting my 10,000 daily step goal, but when I joined a few challenges I realized that I have some friends who were more than doubling my steps on a daily basis. I found this to be incredibly motivating to get moving even more, and while I have yet to catch up to these high stepping maniacs, my new daily average is closer to 15,000 (and I feel GREAT!).
What do you think? Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to reach your 10,000 steps every day? Please share them in the comments below! I love to learn new tricks!