If your goal is to break out of your sedentary lifestyle and become more active, walking is an excellent solution. Why? Well, first of all because walking comes with a multitude of health benefits for both the body and the mind. Second of all, it’s easy to do and doesn’t require special skills. Moreover, it can be done basically anywhere, without having to wear special equipment. And of course, it’s absolutely free.
You probably know it by now that experts recommend 10.000 steps each day. The number may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you’re just starting your walking exercise and can’t accurately estimate your actual fitness level. The good news is that you can gradually work your way up to 10k steps. You don’t need to do anything radical. There are numerous ways to get more steps each day without making any major changes to your schedule.
At the Office
- If possible, walk to work. If you need to take the car, at least park at the far end of the parking lot.
- If you use public transportation, get off the bus, subway or tram one or two stops earlier and walk the rest of the distance.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs each day is a really beneficial activity.
- If you receive a personal call, step outside and walk during the conversation. It’s not only a matter of privacy, but also of sneaking in some extra steps.
- Have walking meetings instead of the classic office meetings. You can get work done and be physically active as well.
- Don’t always communicate through messages or emails with your colleagues. Every once in a while, get up and go to their office.
- Don’t order takeout for lunch. Get out of the building and walk to get lunch.
- Start a walking challenge with your colleagues. Set incentives to increase the number of participants.
- Morning workout. Incorporate high-step exercises, such as jumping rope, skipping, jumping jacks or box squat jumps to increase your step count and tone up your muscles.
- Take care of household chores. Activities like sweeping, mopping, vacuuming or decluttering will get you moving and also help you burn extra calories.
- Do a little bit of light gardening or mow the lawn yourself instead of paying someone to do it. You get to stay active, as well as save money.
- Walk around the house every time you’re talking on the phone.
- Wander around the house during the commercial breaks of a movie, TV show or game
- Play various games with your kids in the backyard. This is a great way to have fun with your small ones and be physically active.
- Dance. Put on your favorite music and have a dance party to get more steps in.
- If your schedule allows it, go for a morning walk. In addition to taking a decent amount of steps, it will help you stay energized throughout the day, reduce your appetite and rest better at night.
- Go for a stroll after dinner instead of lying on the couch. It will give you the chance to add more steps to your day, and it will also aid your digestive system.
- Walk your dog. This will help you both not only physically, but also mentally, since it will strengthen your bond.
- Walk your kids to school or to the playground.
- Create a walking group with family and friends. Create a clear schedule and stick to it.
- Take advantage of the weekend and go for a hike in the middle of nature.
- Walk to the grocery store.
- Instead of buying food for an entire week, try to go to the supermarket every 2-3 days and get fresh products.
- Running errands? Park further away from your destinations and walk the rest of the distance.
- Walk for charity. This is one of the best ways to walk more and raise money for a good cause.
Always Track your Steps
If you want to maximize your walking exercise, it’s essential to know exactly how many steps you take each day. This will enable you to hold yourself accountable, to track your progress along the way, remain highly motivated and stay on track until you reach your goals.
In order to keep track of your activity you don’t actually need to buy a fitness tracker or fitness band. The optimal solution is to install a pedometer app on your phone, just like our own ActivityTracker. This way you’ll be up-to-date with your entire physical activity, including on an hourly basis. With just a couple of taps, you’ll know your step count, the distance covered, the amount of calories burned or the total active time.