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Walking is such a great form of exercise (I talk about the benefits of walking in this post) and is low impact and can be done just about anywhere. Since I sit on my butt all day (or a good chunk of it, it feels like), I asked for a FitBit for my birthday.
Dan bought me this one:Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version). I like it, it tracks my steps, my heart rate, and my runs (distance, time, etc.).
There are other, inexpensive ones that are great for just tracking steps and the nice thing about this tracker is that you can clip it anywhere and costs less than $30. 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer with Clip and Strap, Free eBook | 30 Days Memory, Accurate Step Counter, Walking Distance Miles/Km, Calorie Counter, Daily Target Monitor, Exercise Time (Grey/Black)
Getting 10,000 Steps in can be difficult, especially if you have a sedentary job. I have a sedentary job, and it’s brutal getting those steps in sometimes! Many days, I’m lucky to get 7,000. There are those days that I need to sit and work for 9 or 10 hours, especially when I was working to get ahead before we left on our road trip. I have come to terms that there will be days I don’t hit my goal, but realistically, for my health, I need to make a more concerted effort to get in some daily exercise.
It all comes down to balance. It’s what I preach, but struggle to practice. My daily step goal is a minimum of 7,000 steps. As I try to re-establish my routines now that I am home, I am shooting for 10,000 with a BARE minimum of 7,000. Now, there are some workout I do that don’t register on my Fitbit, and I take that into account.
With that being said, I have had to do some research in terms of reaching my daily walking goals and have to had to plan my day to include some of the activities I have listed below.
Get a Baseline
The most important thing you should do if you want to start tracking your steps is to get a baseline. Wearing some sort of pedometer for a few days JUST to see where your starting point is, is important. Go for a 10-20% increase in steps every day. Don’t try to dive in and shoot for a big number. It’s about creating new routines and being able to stick with them long term.
Park Far Away
The most common suggestion out there is probably the easiest and also provides other benefits. If you park further away from any entrance, there are less cars, less chance to get door dings. Now, in brutally hot weather or freezing cold this may not seem like a whole lot of fun, but it can make parking lot parking much easier. Less people, less cars, more steps!
Take the Stairs
This is also on every list you’ll read. Take the stairs any chance you can. For me, it’s kind of nice because I really hate waiting, so spending valuable patience for an elevator is something I can pass on many times. I’d RATHER take the stairs. Of course, if I have my hands full or am sick, I’ll wait. Sorry steps, not happening.
Try to get up at least once an hour. Take a two minute walk. It can be to the bathroom, outside to the end of the block, around the building, take a couple laps up and down the stairs. Just get some movement. Whether you are tracking steps or not, getting up and moving every so often is something you should really do, it’s that important.
If you have kids, play with a Frisbee, hide and seek, play catch, hopscotch, jump rope. There are a number of ways to get in some steps by just playing.
We all have to cook and clean and do monotonous daily activities. Put on music and dance while you do some of these tasks. Turn up the volume, tune out life and try to live in the moment, moving around a bit more while you do it. Listening to music you like can be a good stress reliever too, so it’s an added bonus.
Drink a lot of water
The more you drink, the more you’ll need to go to the bathroom! Drink up!
Hold a contest
For competitive people, this is a great way to reach your walking goals. Find friends, family, co-workers, your kids to have a contest who can get the most steps in in a specific time period. Figure out a fun, cost friendly prize. Winner takes all.
Get up 15 Minutes Earlier
Now, this isn’t too much to ask. Fifteen minutes is just a smidge earlier. If it’s still dark and you don’t want to go outside, make 5-10 laps around your house or if you have stairs, do 5-10 sets of steps and then get on with your morning as normal.