A few weeks ago, I started gathering tips from Facebook friends and clients on how they managed to get in the minimum 10,000 steps a day using activity trackers.
Now mind you, 10,000 steps a day might be a huge increase for someone who is completely sedentary, and the number (10,000) is more like a nice goal, although a smaller goal (7,000 or whatever) might be appropriate for some people here.
Regardless, the basic idea of moving more in a day isn’t a bad one, given how overly sedentary most of our jobs and engineered environments are. We drive everywhere, take elevators, and sit at our desks all day long. So, if you get a FitBit, or a pedometer, or any other activity tracker that suits you, the following tips should help you achieve more steps, more movement, and more unstructured/non-gym activity.
So how can you get a move on?
1. Park as far away as you can from the door step. At work, the movie theater, grocery store, gym, daycare, school, coffee shop, everywhere. All those steps add up.
2. Set a silent alarm to make sure you get up from your desk at work, and walk around the hall for 2 minutes each hour.
3. Walk in place, side step, and lift your feet while watching TV or when you’re standing while getting ready for work, or waiting for the coffee to finish brewing in the kitchen. Users report that the Fitbit picks up walking in place and side stepping.
4. Use your lunch break for a 30 min walk. You might come back smelly, but you’ll get over it.
5. Never take it off, unless you’re charging it. You might forget to put it back on and remember that every step counts towards your daily total!
6. Be inefficient. Take multiple trips in and around your house when doing errands. If you *could* unload the laundry into one basket and take it to your bedroom, break the load up into 2, so you’re taking two trips to the laundry room, bedroom, and back.
7. If you can’t walk during your lunch break, absolutely take a short walk after work gets out and before you get in your car. Or even better, take a hike, go for a run, or hit the gym before you head home (of course, the same tip could be used before you arrive at the office). Once you get home, you’ll be inundated with the usual home responsibilities.
8. If at all possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator for as many flights as you can manage.
9. While at work, use the bathroom that’s furthest away from your desk or even on a different floor. While some of these tips might seem silly, remember that every step matters and it’s ALL additive!
10. Consider using public transport. Users in urban areas like NYC find it much easier to get in 10,000 steps a day. No cars means more steps.
11. Consider a more active profession. It might not be a reasonable suggestion, but people with jobs that seem like they aren’t very physical (like teachers, daycare workers) find it easier to get in 10,000 steps a day, at a minimum. It might be time for a job change 🙂
12. Get one of these things or see if it’s something your employer will offer as a health benefit. A treadmill desk!
Have fun and get moving!