Exercising daily is important to your overall health and fitness goals. While increasing your heart rate and strength training are obvious ways to burn fat and stay in shape, you can also improve your health by simply increasing your daily step count.
If you move around a lot during the day, it’s easy to assume that your step count is high. But once you start keeping track, you may be surprised that you’re not quite in your anticipated range.
Keep in mind that today’s recommendation for steps is between 7,000 and 8,000 steps per day. It’s important to remember that everyone is different, this range is just a baseline to get you started – and then you can increase from there if desired. Following are several surefire tips and tricks to tally up more steps each day.
How to count steps
- Wear it from the moment you wake up until bedtime
- Write down your daily step count. Do this for several days to determine your daily average. Decide if you need to increase steps to reach a minimum of 7,000 steps a day.
Tips for increasing steps
Once you set your goal, start small by increasing your steps by 300 to 500 a day. Once you’ve hit that goal, increase your steps a bit more each day until you reach your ultimate long-term goal.
- Add an extra 10 minutes of cardio to your daily workout
- If cardio isn’t part of your normal routine, include a 10-minute warmup on the treadmill before strength training
- Don’t have a regimented workout schedule? Take a few laps around your neighborhood (and take the pup with you!)
Get moving in the office
If you spend most of your week in an office, chances are you’re pretty sedentary during the week. But there are ways to boost your activity level at work, which can do wonders when it comes to tallying up those steps.
- Instead of calling or using instant messenger to talk with a co-worker, walk over to their desk
- Use the bathroom furthest from your desk (by drinking more water, you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Staying hydrated requires more trips to the bathroom!)
- Opt for stairs rather than elevators and escalators
- Take a walk around the building after lunch
Stroll before you shop
Walking around a mall, a market or a museum is a great way to boost your step count. Take advantage of this and choose to maximize steps taken whenever possible.
- Park further away from the entrance
- Walk around the store or mall before you begin shopping
- After grocery shopping, make multiple trips carrying your bags into your home
- If you live or work close enough to the bank, coffee shop or post office, walk to do your errands instead of driving
Put some pep in your step at home
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re bound to a bed or couch. Use this time to squeeze in a few extra steps whether it’s in the morning or before bedtime.
- Walk around while talking on the phone or texting
- Take the dog for an extra walk (they will benefit from this too)
- Play in the yard with your kids
- March around while brushing your teeth