When I started using my fitness tracker a few months ago, it encouraged me to set a daily step goal. 10,000 steps a day was the recommended amount of steps. I looked it up. 10,000 steps is what the American Heart Association recommends to help maintain a healthy heart.
Mission accepted. Moving more and a healthier heart…a win-win in my book. How hard could it be, right?
Well let me say that some days are easier than others to reach the 10,000 mark. As a working mom, some days I spend more time seated at my desk than moving. Every hour my fitness tracker gives me a friendly buzz as a reminder to get up and move. Sometimes I can jump right up and take a trip around the office. It might be time to refill the ol’ water bottle, hit up the copy machine, or trek to the restroom (that is farthest away from my office…extra steps!).
Some days, especially when I’m home with my two kiddos, I’m constantly on the go. By lunchtime, I’m already looking at 8,000 steps (yes!).
But then there are the days when nothing has gone quite right. The morning may have gotten off to a rocky start. Or it was raining during lunch hour, hampering a midday stroll. And by the time I’m ready to slip into my pajamas I realize that I’ve still got a couple thousand steps to go to reach my goal.
Rest assured, I hit my 10,000 step goal about 99% of the time. Yes. There are nights when you’ll find me marching next to my bed, or running laps through the kitchen with my kids. But when I set a goal, I achieve it!
I try to make it my mission to reach 5,000 steps by lunchtime and have the 10,000 step goal smashed by the time the kids get into the bath. So, here are a few ways I try to sneak a few extra steps into my day.
- Move while brushing. In the morning and before bed, try to walk in place or do some step touches while brushing your teeth. (It’s a little harder to do while flossing, but I’m happy to report, it can be done).
- Get grooving while brewing. While waiting for the coffee to brew, or in my case, for the tea kettle to whistle, turn on your favorite song and dance it out.
- Take the stairs. This one might sound obvious, but finding the stairs is not always easy. Sometimes that elevator looks so inviting. Try to resist it when you can.
- Resist parking karma. My husband has amazing parking karma. He can pull in to almost any parking lot and immediately find the perfect spot. You know the one… right in front of the door. It will magically become available just for him. So, try to resist the perfect parking spot and park in the last row (and maybe a few less door dents).
- Step up the commercial breaks. During the commercial break of your favorite show, why not hop up and take a lap around the kitchen? Challenge yourself. How many steps can you get before your show comes back on?
- Take a hike. Instead of sitting back and surfing the web or scrolling through social media during your lunch hour or coffee break, why not take a walk around the block? I have started doing this at least 3 times a week and I am finding that I am not crashing (as much) during the afternoons.
- Scroll and step. Ok, so maybe you cannot tear yourself away from social media, then why not put your phone on a counter or ledge and scroll while you step? This is what you’ll find me doing on a rainy lunch break. If I cannot get outside for a walk, then I’ll be stepping and scrolling my news feeds.
- Walk the dog (or the kids). If you have a dog, take him for a walk. If you have kids, take them for a walk. If you have both, lace up your shoes (and patience) and hit the sidewalk. I don’t have a dog, but I have two kids. A walk through the neighborhood is a slow inspection of every twig, leaf and crack in the sidewalk, but it gets us moving and enjoying the outdoors!
- Make an extra trip. When putting away the kid’s laundry, why not carry smaller armload? Or when bringing in the groceries, why not carry them in 1 bag at a time. As long as your patience can handle this, you’ll easily gain some extra steps!
What is your favorite way to get your 10,000 steps in? Be sure to comment, I would love to hear from you.