Research has shown a strong correlation between 10,000 daily steps (3,500 coming from "intense" exercise of longer than 10 minutes) and weight loss. Anecdotally, I find it much easier to keep my weight within a range of 3-4 lbs year round (181-185 lbs) when I get my 15,000+ daily steps in.
No matter if your goal is weight loss or weight maintenance, getting more steps in on a daily basis is a great behavior modification that will help with your long-term health & fitness goals.
Below, I outline 17 different ways you can increase your step count.
1) Park far away in the parking lot from your destination
2) Take the stairs instead of an elevator/escalator (especially at an airport)
3) Speaking of airports, when waiting to board your flight, go for a walk. You're going to be sitting on a plane for a couple of hours anyway.
4) Set a timer for the beginning of the day or the end of the day and dedicate that timer to taking a 20-30 minute walk around the neighborhood
5) Inconvenience yourself at home. For example, maybe you can easily take two loads of laundry upstairs and to your bedroom. Instead, take one load at time.
6) Walk in between your sets at the gym instead of sitting on the bench or standing in-place
7) If you have a treadmill at home, place it in view of your TV. You can break a sweat while watching TV rather than sitting on the couch.
8) If joint pain prevents you from walking long distances, then try and find a pool that's shallow enough where you can walk through it. Ideally, the water doesn't go above your waist.
9) When you go shopping, don't "fish" for the right parking spot. Park far away from the store, get out of your car, and start walking. By the time you find your ideal parking spot, you will have made it in the building already anyway if you would have just parked right away and started walking.
10) For your next vacation, book a destination that will have opportunities for you to be active (i.e. hike, running trails, etc)
11) Participate in activities that are higher intensity where you will get a lot of steps in a short amount of time where you don't even think about it. It's just fun. (i.e. basketball, 1-on-1 tennis, etc)
12) Schedule breaks at work where you go for a walk. Even multiple 10 minute walks spread throughout the day will be beneficial and likely result in a more efficient, productive you.
13) Set a daily step goal. Commit to it. Invite others within your circle to be a part of it. Accountability will increase likelihood of success, plus it will be more fun.
14) If you're "bored", then go for a walk 🙂
15) If you find walking is "boring", then throw on your headphones and play your favorite playlist, podcast, or audiobook to make it more enjoyable.
16) Schedule daily walks with your dog(s)
17) Schedule trips to local parks to get a nice, challenging walk in. The Arb here in Ann Arbor has beautiful scenery and varying terrain that will make for a very enjoyable experience for you.
What tips do you have? I'd love to hear it! In fact, I will take your suggestions and turn them into a second post if I get at least 10 of you to respond.
Now, close your laptop and go for a walk!