Thirty Ways to Get More Steps Each Day
Fitness trackers are a popular way to help encourage people to get more movement into their lives. These little devices have inspired countless individuals to make the choice to live a healthier life. Fitness trackers are great for measuring your progress and even stimulating some healthy competition between friends. In addition, many businesses and organizations are incorporating fitness trackers into their health and wellness programs in an effort to improve employee morale and reduce health insurance premiums.
If you own a fitness tracker then you have likely looked for ways to improve your numbers at one point or another. Getting more steps in each day can actually be quite easy if you make some simple changes in your life. Here are thirty simple tips that can help you get more steps in each day.
Around the Office
If you work in an office it can be challenging to get in those extra steps. I work in an office and have used all of the following tips to improve my step count, especially during competitions:
- Every hour take 5 minutes to stand up and walk around your office. You may actually still be able to get work done while standing too. Every 5 minutes of walking could earn you up to an additional 500 steps per session.
- Use your lunch break to walk around the block. A 30-minute walk could net you up to 3,000 more steps.
- Walk to a local restaurant for lunch instead of driving. Eating just a half mile away from the office can bring in up to 1,500 more steps.
- Use the printer on the other side of the office when you need to print things out. At my office, the furthest copy machine is just 125 steps away resulting in a 250 step print job.
- Use the furthest restroom in the office when you need to “go.” At my office, this easily nets me an additional 300 steps.
- Use your breaks to take a walk around the office building. A 15-minute break spent walking could bring you an additional 1,000 to 1,500 steps.
- Walk to colleagues’ offices to speak with them in person rather than calling or emailing them. On a typical day, you easily garner 2,000 to 10,000 more steps doing this.
- When you get to the office in the morning park as far away as possible. At my place of work, this adds about 300 steps to my fitness tracker each day.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator. This no-brainer tip can easily earn you an extra 15-20 steps per floor.
- Have a “walking” meeting instead of sitting around a conference table. An hour-long meeting outdoors could easily bring in 4,000 steps or more.
Around Your Home
When you’re at home it can be tempting to lounge on the couch while you relax and unwind from a long day’s work. However, there are ample opportunities at home for you to walk more. Here are some tips to help you rake in those steps!
- Walk to the mailbox rather than stopping by with your car on the way home. This easily nets me an additional 100 steps each day.
- Pace back and forth while watching TV or enjoying a late night movie. In just 30 minutes you could add another 1,500 to 2,000 steps to your fitness tracker.
- If you can’t pace while watching TV at least hide the remote control. While channel surfing this could net you another 50 to 100 steps every couple of minutes.
- When putting away laundry make several trips between the laundry room and the bedroom. You could easily double your laundry folding steps by employing this tip.
- Enjoy vacuuming more often as this will garner you several more steps each week as well as a cleaner home!
- Perform your own yard work and you can add several thousand more steps to your total each week. Mowing lawns and raking leaves can have a similar result to going for a long walk.
- Spend time with the kids and play a game of “follow the leader.” Walking around the house while playing this game can add several hundred if not thousands of steps to your total depending on how long you play.
- When reading a book or a magazine try walking carefully throughout your house at the same time. Your familiarity with your home should help you avoid obstacles while your knowledge and your steps. One night I did this for 2 hours and earn more than 11,000 steps while reading half of a book.
- Just like at the office, use the upstairs bathroom when you need to take care of business when you are downstairs. If you have a single store home take the “long” way to the john or make a lap around the building before you enter the bathroom.
- When you bring home the groceries only take one bag into the house at a time instead of trying to get them all in one trip. You can easily quadruple your steps from this task if completed in this fashion.
Out and About
When you’re away from your home and the office you still have ample opportunity to add to your step count. Try these tips to increase your step total when you are out and about.
- Feel free to get some “free” steps by taking a detour when walking through to the checkout counter while in a store.
- When you are out shopping try parking your car in a central location and walking to all of the stores instead of driving to each one. You can easily get several hundred steps by parking far away from the businesses.
- When shopping at a department store make multiple trips to the dressing room to try on clothes rather than taking an armful of clothing at a time. Using this tip can add 20% more steps to your counter by the end of the shopping day.
- When grocery shopping, don’t be afraid to walk back and forth between multiple sections within the store. When employed properly you can double the steps gained during your shopping trip.
- Before you leave and when you get home, take a lap around the block. This will only take a few minutes but can net you 500 to 1,000 more steps per day.
- Many people live within 3-4 miles of some kind of store. Make an effort to walk to the nearest store the next time you need some convenience items. Doing this can help add several thousand steps to your total each day.
Tips for Anywhere and Anytime
These last tips can help you add to your step total anywhere at any time. If you’ve run out of ideas it may be time to try one of these.
- Practice the art of “not sitting” and see how long you can go. If you get bored try pacing or even stepping in place. Walking in circles is a great idea as well!
- Break your car. Ok, not literally, but try pretending that your car is broken and that it can’t be used. A friend of mine did this (for real) and wound walking 30+ miles a day for several months until he could afford to replace his car. If only he had a fitness tracker back then….
- Try walking in place instead of sitting down whenever you are waiting for something. This includes the doctor’s office, the grocery store line, and even at the Department of Motor Vehicles!