Walking is arguably one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise there is, but it is often overlooked as a form of exercise and finding time still remains a challenge for many people.
Most women in the U.K. don’t hit even half of the 10,000 recommended steps per day. But just think how setting yourself the challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day could improve your health, build stamina and burn excess calories.
We’ve come up with 10 easy ways to boost your step count each day.
1. Pace while you wait.
There are so many daily tasks we do standing still. Move around during these tasks, and those steps will add up. Pace while you brush your teeth or wait for the kettle to boil – just in those two minutes, you’ll add up to 240 steps. You can even march in place while you are waiting in the queue for your coffee or lunch order, or waiting for your bus or train to arrive.
2. Stairs are your friends.
Avoid the lift or escalators and take the stairs. Adopting stair climbing as a daily habit is great for your overall health as it burns two to three times more energy than walking on the flat.
3. Take calls on the go.
Why sit down and chat when you could walk round the office, or even better get some fresh air and extra steps. A 10 minute phone call walking at a brisk pace will rack up 1000 steps without you even really noticing.
4. Have walking meetings at work.
As you probably spend as much as a third or more time at your place of work, this is a great place to seek out walking opportunities. Having walking meetings at work will get you up and moving, helping you wake up and stimulate your mind which often leads to greater creativity, concentration and conversation.
5. Buddy up.
Meet your friends for a chat and walk instead of hitting the coffee shop – walking and talking are perfect partners for an active catch up. And let’s face it, when you’re with your friends you’re bound to accumulate more distance than you would on your own.
6. Take your lunch break.
Make an effort to go out for a walk on your lunch break – you could take your lunch and walk to a more scenic location to eat it, or simply walk a few laps around your office building. Just twenty minutes of brisk walking will knock out 2000 extra steps.
7. Take the long way.
Try incorporating more walking in your daily work routine by walking to the toilets on a different floor, or walking the long way round to the water cooler or kitchen. You could even visit co-workers instead of calling them to get those extra steps around the office.
8. Park further away.
Parking further away from the office, supermarket or gym provides two great opportunities to clock up more steps as you walk from and then back to your car. If you’re not a car driver, then try getting on and off the bus a stop or two before your destination to boost those steps.
9. Go window shopping.
If it’s a rainy day, window shopping at your local shopping centre is a great way to get those extra steps. With all those beautiful displays to distract you, you won’t even notice the time or distance.
10. Take a walk with your children, partner, friend or dog after dinner.
What a great way to end your day by spending time with the ones you love whilst getting out in the fresh air. Walking after dinner can improve your wellbeing by aiding digestion, improving blood circulation, boosting metabolism and inducing sleep.