Fresh ideas to boost your step count

Published in Weight Management Author: Alyssa Monson

Tracking your steps? Have you succeeded in hitting the recommended 10,000 steps per day? The American Heart Association recommends using a pedometer or other fitness tracker to count how many steps you take each day. Then, each week, work to increase your daily steps by 1,000 steps until you reach 10,000 steps a day. As a reference, it takes about five minutes to walk 500 steps.

Here are some ideas to increase your steps without hitting the gym.

At home:

  • Pace or march in place when you brush your teeth.
  • Make an after-dinner leisurely walk with the family a daily habit.
  • Bring the grocery bags in one at a time.
  • Play hide and seek or any active game with your family.
  • Turn on some music and have a dance party with your family (or solo!).
  • Do a sweep of your home and put out of place items away one at a time before going to bed.
  • Check out your neighborhood — take a different walking path than you usually do or check out a new park.
  • Walk and listen — download some audio books from your local library and go for a walk.
  • Pace when talking on the phone — at work, too, if your workplace allows.

Out and about:

  • Pace while you wait — walk in place or pace while waiting in line at a store, at a doctor’s office, airport, etc.
  • Make extra laps around the perimeter of the grocery store before starting your shopping.
  • Park further away from stores or park in between stores if you are visiting multiple ones in the same area.
  • Return your shopping cart to the cart return one aisle over or walk it back into the store.
  • Avoid the drive thru — park your car and walk into the pharmacy, bank or restaurant.

At work:

  • Use the restroom furthest from your desk or current location.
  • Set your timer and try to take a 5- to10-minute walk every hour.
  • Take 10-15 minutes from your lunch break to take a walk. Get some coworkers together to chat while you walk.
  • Get up and walk to a person’s desk instead of calling or messaging him/her.