I was reading some things in my twitter feed the other day and I happened across this link concerning tips for getting 10,000 (10k from this point on cause I’m lazy) steps per day. I started thinking back to where I started in February, where I was getting 3 to 3.5k steps per day on my Fitbit Ultra for my baseline. I gradually increased my daily total and now I hit 10k steps almost every single day. Full Disclosure: There have been a total of 9 days in the last 4 months that I have not hit 10k steps. I know this because I keep track in a giant spreadsheet. I told you I was a stats guy, now do you believe me? I actually hope to get them uploaded and displayed here so you can see what I see.
I averaged about 10.8k Steps in April, and 11.3k steps per day in May and June. It’s weird to think about it now, but I did it by gradually increasing some small things, and being dedicated. I want to talk about a few of the tips on the link I posted above that I already use, some that I might start using, and some that I do myself.
1. Take the Long Way
Unless you are a waiter or someone in a profession where you are on your feet all day, you are likely in the same boat as I was in. Sitting at a desk, not getting exercise. I knew this would be a challenge for me, so one of the first things that I decided to change was how frequently I got up from my desk, and I changed the way I went to places. Here are a couple of examples:
When I get up to go to the restroom, I walk right by it, make a lap around the large back room we have at work, and then go. It’s about 100 extra steps, and it adds up. I do the same thing when I get up to get a drink, or when I go to the break room.
When I go upstairs at work, I generally only have to go up two flights to get to my destination. Now, I go up to the floor above that, and walk back down. It’s an extra 10 or 20 seconds, but it’s another couple of floors on my Fitbit, and it’s more steps as well.
You can incorporate this into any situation at work, be creative!
2. Walk and Talk
Most of us don’t have wireless phones at our workstations, but for those of you that do, this applies as well. When I take a personal call at work or at home on my cell phone, I walk while I’m talking. It’s pretty simple, and if it’s a long call, these steps can really add up. This is similar to the point about walking conference calls on the link I provided, but I generally just make this happen with personal calls on my personal cell phone.
3. Get a Dog, Walk your Dog
I was getting pretty good at getting up in the morning and doing my walk. I walk 4 laps around my neighborhood, and It ends up being ~ 3 miles. We got a dog in May. Now it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to say, “I’m too tired to get up.” The dog has the habit down. She knows exactly when we will be leaving the house, and makes sure I’m up to take her.
4. Go Shopping!
This is similar to the point about mall window shopping in the link I posted, however extend it far beyond that. If you are one of those people who are stuck on 1950’s ideals that only your wife should go shopping for your family, get over it. Personally, when we go shopping for anything, including groceries, we go as a family. I like the bonding time frankly. Regardless, if it’s something you don’t already do, do it. Every time you set foot in a large store, it’s pretty much a guaranteed 1000 steps. I am definitely going to incorporate the suggestion from the link that instead of returning the cart to the cart corral, return it to the front of the store. That will definitely increase my step count.
5. Mow Your Lawn, Tend Your Garden
Mowing my large lawn nets me about 4.5k steps, and since I have hills, it gets me about 20 floors climbed as well. Some people don’t have lawns that big, but really, any yard work will add up steps like crazy. I moved some dirt from the front yard to the back yard earlier in the spring and got nearly 5k steps just from doing a little work.
6. Do Extra Housework
Whether it’s cooking or cleaning, the more moving around you can do, the more it will add up on your daily steps. When I come home at night and cook, I generally get 400 to 500 steps just going around the kitchen. When I cleaned my garage a few months ago, I got something like 3500 steps just doing that!
Here’s a little breakdown of my daily steps:
1. I get up at 5:15 and walk the dog for 2 laps, and walk/jog 2 laps on my own. This comes to about 6500 Steps.
2. I use the little tricks above to be more active at work. I generally get from 2500 to 3000 steps at work.
3. If I happen to go out for lunch, or for my break, I easily get 1000 steps going to whatever store I’m going to.
4. When I come home, and just do any sort of activity in the house, cooking, cleaning, etc, it will put me over 10k steps if I’m not already there.
Just doing these simple steps, and nothing else, I hit between 10k and 13k steps on any given day.
The point of all of this is to be ACTIVE. The more active you are, the more steps you get. The more active you are, the healthier you will become. The more active you are, the easier it is to STAY active.
What things do you do to hit 10k steps per day?