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Five Ways to Step it Up

blog2 betty boop edit 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!

5 Ways to Step it UpWhat do YOU do to get in extra steps?


  1. While reading this post, I couldn’t help but think about the story of the Detroit man who has walked 21 miles to and from work for years. We have no excuse not to add steps to our day or complain about our commute.

  2. I like walking. In fact I go walking with a friend twice a week. I would love to do it every day and for a lot longer can’t fit into my schedule yet. 😀

    1. I wish I had someone who lived close enough (and was willing enough) to walk with regularly, Tess. Some years back I had a regular routine with a neighbor and not only did we get regular exercise, we solved some serious world problems during those walks! I miss it! -El

      1. We’re going mall walking because my friend can’t walk fast or long. I like fast to get in the extra steps and get home because I’ve things to do. This walking has put me behind the 8-ball time-wise.

        Sorry for the whine. Whine. Whine.

  3. I need to figure out how to get those steps in while working/playing on computer. I can’t move my feet and fingers at the same time. 😛

  4. I am not exercise oriented – despite being a yoga instructor in my youth and being able to wrap my heels around my neck 🙂 I read posts like this and think – that’s not hard, I could do that …… and then never do! I am a lost cause!!

    1. I don’t know – I think wrapping your heels round your neck probably burns just as many calories as marching in place through a commercial, Pauline! -El

  5. I lead a very sedentary life. I work/write at my desk all day long. These are really great tips and I’m going to incorporate a few. I’m conscious of the fact that I need to move more. We have two staircases – one off the kitchen and one off the living room. I could literally walk a circuit up one and down the other.

  6. I get smooshi (er) in the wintertime. In summer I swim everyday. It’s nice and cool, here now. No excuses. I should be walking.

    1. I know how you feel, Susan – swimming is my first love. I really miss it when it’s too cold to get in. When I visit my folks in Florida, I’m the only one in their community pool because you Floridians have a higher expectation for “swimmable” weather than some of us outsiders. I’m not judging, mind you. I love having that huge pool all to myself – it makes the fact that I can’t swim a straight line on the backstroke irrelevant! -El

  7. I walk at least thirty minutes every day – weekends included. I’ve always paced when I’m on the phone. For some reason, I cant sit still during that time. We used to have a very long phone cord too until we got cordless phones and then cell phones. Hmmm…Not stopping for snacks at Costco isn’t possble, but I do run up and down the stairs twenty times a day.

    Your suggestions are good ones.

  8. I have several hour-long programs on TV that I love to watch. During each commercial, I make myself get up and do something–move the laundry into the dryer, unload 90 seconds of dishes from the dishwasher, water plants–and I’m surprised how much I get done. I also do the 10,000 steps in the spring, summer, and fall, but during the winter I’m lucky to bundle up enough to walk a mile.

    1. Marylin your commercial hopping sounds much more productive than hopping up for snacks or beverage refills on commercial breaks – something I may have done once or twice. Per show. A long, long time ago. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! -El

  9. I need to do all of these and stop making excuses when my daughter tells me its my walking time….weights etc she loves bossing me around. Motivated now and will go hard tomorrow thanks for motivational post.

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