Most of us have gotten the memo about trying to get in at least 10,000 steps a day to get us out of sedentary lifestyles. We hear the same tips over and over about how to accomplish that: park farther away from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a stroll after dinner. Even if we add in a 30-minute power walk, we haven’t hit our goal. So what else can we do in our jam-packed days to get a few more steps in?
First of all, remember that no extra step is wasted – not even one. They all count. The few added to the other few start adding up to many. Clamp on that pedometer so you can track your progress.
Here’s 5 ways to add in a few extra steps over the course of your day!
1. Pace while you’re on the telephone. Take no call sitting down. This was a habit I developed long before I knew how useful it could be. I drove my husband crazy because the telephone cord would get all twisted up. Now that I am no longer tethered to the wall during phone time, I’m free to wander aimlessly racking up significant step counts during business calls.
2. March in place during TV time. Many of us have too little space or too many family members to be able to park a treadmill in the TV room. While watching a show, stand up every 20 minutes or so and march in place for a certain number of steps or minutes. If you’re DVR-less and have commercial interruptions, use them to trot up and down the hall a few times.
3. Tour the store. Make a commitment to yourself that any time you go into a certain type of store – grocery, convenience, big box – that you will grab your cart and walk the whole perimeter of the store before you actually put anything in your basket. Once you’ve made the commitment, you’ll be so annoyed when you’re in a hurry that you’ll walk that perimeter at a heart-healthy brisk pace! (I hope it goes without saying that there shall be no stopping for free food samples!)
4. Grab a broom and sweep! This is a twofer – cleaner house, higher step count!
5. End of the day victory lap. Before turning in for the night, walk in and out of each room in your home that won’t disturb a sleeping family member. Take the longest route around and if you have stairs throw in an up and down or two. Sure your family might think you’re a little weird – but will that really surprise them? The few hundred steps this adds at the end of the day can be just the little boost you need to push you over your 10,000 count!
The bonus to these added steps? No fancy shoes needed!