Health experts recommend that we walk 10,000 steps a day. It helps you maintain a high metabolic rate and keep in shape. 10,000 steps sounds like a lot but it’s actually easier than you think. Once you develop a walking habit, you don’t have to count the actual steps anymore. Here’s how to develop this healthy habit.
1. Buy a pedometer
Cheap pedometers and fitness trackers are easily available. They are a convenient way to keep track of how many steps you take every day. Most people walk between 5,000 to 8,000 steps on a normal day. So it’s take just a little more effort to stretch to reach 10,000. It’s also rather motivating to watch those numbers climb as the day goes on!
2. Take the stairs
This is one of the easiest ways to work those steps into your routine. As long as you’re only going one or two levels up or down, take the stairs. Anything more than two levels and you can allow yourself a choice. If you’re going to work, a meeting, or anywhere you have to appear presentable, go ahead and take the escalator or lift. On your way home however, where youre going to jump into the shower anyway, you could still choose the stairs.
3. Leave the car home
On weekends and when you’re headed somewhere nearby, decide to leave the car home and take the bus, train, or walk instead. This option is good for both your health and your pocket. Another advantage is that you get to meet other people along the way and be sociable. If you’re on your own, you could detour through a park to enjoy the scenery and peace. This option is very good for your soul!
4. Alight one stop earlier
If you’re taking the bus or subway, you could get off one stop ahead and walk the rest of the way. As with taking the stairs, this option works better when you’re on your way home or on the weekends, and you can skip this if you’re on the way to work.
5. Stand when someone talks to you at work
This will demonstrate respect for the other person, and introduce some old-fashioned chivalry into today’s casual lifestyle. It usually has the effect of keeping the conversation shorter than if you remain seated. Then you can return to work sooner, increase your productivity throughout the day, and go home earlier. It doesn’t add that many steps to your day but it will add some, and certainly more than if you remain seated.
6. Pace when reading or thinking
Obviously pace slowly when reading so you don’t bump into furniture or people, but do move around a little. It will get the blood flowing to your brain and help you absorb what you’re reading or think clearly about your strategy. Basically, don’t sit unless you have to.
7. Move away from the TV during commercials
Go anywhere else in the house for a break. Drop in on the spouse or children if they’re in another room, go see where the dog is, walk around the house turning off lights that aren’t being used. You may want to avoid the kitchen though, since you’ll risk returning with something out of the fridge to munch on when the TV program resumes. Not that this is wrong, but you’ll just need that many more steps to undo the caloric damage!
8. Offer to run errands
If anyone within hearing mentions that they’d like a drink, snack, or need to get something from another room, offer to do it for them. You can make these offers both at work and at home. You can even offer when nobody asks. Just say loudly that you’re thinking of getting something for yourself, and would anyone like you to get them something as well? You’ll not only become healthier, you’ll also become more popular.
9. Jog for 30 minutes everyday
If you have a personality like mine, this is actually easier than doing all of the above. I’d rather not bother wearing a pedometer and having to think about it all day. I just work a 30 minute jog into my daily schedule, which clocks in about 5,000 steps a day. The rest of the day makes up the other 5,000 steps. Once you make this a habit, you’ll look forward to your daily jog and miss the endorphins if you skip it.
10. Don’t sleep until you clock 10,000 steps
I know someone who walks round the block indefinitely, even if it’s late at night, until she gets her 10,000 steps done. If this sounds too drastic for you, then just make up for it the next day (yeah, right!) or keep walking around your house or apartment. This is an excellent time to sweep the floor, clear out the mess in all the rooms, take out the garbage, or ask your spouse out on a last-minute date that involves walking around the neighbourhood. Use your imagination.
Everything seems hard until it becomes easy. You CAN walk 10,000 steps a day if you stop bargaining with yourself and just make it your goal.