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Super Creative Ways to Get 20K Every Day!
Well, you might be disappointed to find out that we are talking about 20K STEPS every day and not dollars, but your health is priceless, is it not?
How active is your lifestyle and how do you measure it?
For some people, getting to the gym or riding a bike or other types of exercise are next to impossible, or hard to find the time to do it more than once or twice per week. However, there is another way to get exercise, and that is simply by walking and no, you don’t have to clock miles or minutes on a treadmill! Simply walking every day is great exercise, especially if you use a pedometer to keep track of your “mileage.”
If you don’t have a pedometer, this is a great time to get one. Spring is around the corner and this will make walking easier than ever! You don’t have to spend a lot of money (unless you are a gadget lover and get a kick out of all those bells and whistles) a basic pedometer runs less than $10. Once you calibrate it (which is super easy), don’t make any special efforts to get exercise during the first few days, simply measure how many steps you are taking on an average day.
Once you know your average step count, check it against this chart:
- Less than 5,000 steps is considered to be a sedentary lifestyle
- 5,000 to 7,499 is slightly active
- 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active
- 10,000 to 12,499 is active
- 12,500 or more is highly active
No one needs to tell you the dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle or the benefits of exercise here. This is something you already know.
The trick here is to increase the amount of steps you take every day. No matter how active you are, you can always find room for improvement and every little bit of exercise counts! (Unless, of course, you are one of the few who are already taking more than 12,000 steps daily!)
Most health experts will tell you that 10,000 should be your goal, and if you aren’t there, then by all means, make your first goal 10K. Then perhaps over the next 6 months you should see if you can break 12K. After that, perhaps you want to try for 15K. Working towards a goal is always a great way to motivate yourself and get in a bit more exercise. For each goal you reach, be sure to award yourself accordingly. (Spa day? Fishing weekend?)
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OK, so you might be surprised (and dismayed) that the “active” lifestyle you thought you were living turns out to be only 3,000 or 4,000 steps. Don’t let that get you down, let that be your motivation! Work towards 5K, then 7,500. Little by little, you can do it!
No matter what your goal is, we have a list of some creative ways you might not have thought about to increase those steps and get you to the next level. Keep reading and find out how you can step up your game and add more steps!
1. Don’t Stand, Pace!
When you are talking on your phone, pace. Anytime you are standing around waiting, pace. Waiting for your doctor’s appointment? Pace! (Go outside if you must)
2. Walk in Place
When you can’t actually pace, walk in place. Standing in line for the ladies room? Simply march in place. Anytime you are waiting in line, just march in place. OK, so you might get some strange looks, but who cares?
3. Walk on Your Coffee Break
Don’t sit at the table to drink your coffee, walk around the halls or in circles around your office, or walk back and forth in the lunch room. If you can, walk outside, just down to the end of the block and back. Remember, all those little steps add up big time!
4. Walk after Dinner
Whenever you can (weather permitting, of course) take a walk with your spouse, your kids, your dog, your neighbor, or your best friend after dinner. Even if it’s just 20 or 30 minutes, you will be surprised at how that little walk adds up at the end of the day, not to mention how good the fresh air and sunshine makes you feel!
5. Less than 1 Mile? Walk!
Many of us live less than a mile away from places we visit regularly; the dry cleaners, the corner market, the coffee shop, or the post office. From now on, make a commitment that if a location is less than a mile away, you are going to walk there instead of drive or hop on the bus or take a taxi. Now, sometimes this isn’t always possible. No one expects you to carry a 50 pound bag of dog food ½ a mile back home, but most of us just pop down to the store to get a half gallon of milk or a cup of coffee and the morning paper. If you walk to and from a store that is about 1 mile away, you can add as many as 6,000 steps in just one day with that one walk!
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6. Treadmill Desk
If you work from home, invest in a treadmill desk. These are fairly inexpensive and can add thousands of steps every day. You don’t have to walk 4mph; a slow 1mph will add 3,000 steps to your day in just one hour. Many people say that 2mph is easy to do and it doesn’t interrupt their working ability at all. If you can manage to get one of these in your life, you will be on easy street!
7. Park and Walk
OK, so what about those trips that are farther away than 1 mile? This is when you do the park and walk feature. Park a block away if you can, or at least at the farthest end of the parking lot and walk. Or if you usually take a bus or subway to work, get off one stop before you normally would and walk the rest of the way.
8. Double Duty Stairs
You most likely already practice talking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, but how about walking them twice? We aren’t suggesting that you walk up, then down, then back up 17 flights of stairs, if that’s what you normally walk to get to your office, for example, but how about just the last two floors? But if you are walking up just to the second story, simply walk to the top, walk back down, and then walk back up the stairs to your destination. This is an easy workout for your heart, only takes a few extra minutes, and adds more steps!
SEE ALSO: 15 Tips Of Burning Calories With Walking Infographic
9. Take a Walk Break
If you typically work at a desk and can’t convince your boss to put in a treadmill desk, at least set a timer so that you get in at least a couple of minutes of walking every hour. You could try working for 30 minutes, for example, then getting up and walking around the office or down the stairs to head outside for 5 minutes. Or work for 1 hour, and then take a 10 minute break to walk. Do whatever works with your schedule, but try your best to get at least a couple minutes of walking time every single hour.
10. Have a Walk Meet
You can walk with your hubby to discuss the week’s plans or instead of drinks and a movie with the girls after work, why not schedule a walk in the park or at least twice around the mall before you hit the movies? Try walking with your kids while they tell you about their homework project or while you are planning out next week’s schedule. If you are really lucky you can convince your boss and co-workers to take a walk while you discuss a project. Almost anything you can sit and talk about can be done walking and talking instead.
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11. March Everywhere
If you can stand in place, you can march in place instead. You don’t have to go all out and bring your knees to your chest or even hip level, but while you are brushing your teeth or combing your hair, even while you are getting dressed, keep those knees moving and shuffle those feet!
12. Make Inconvenient Choices
Sounds strange, but this works. Don’t opt for the bathroom that is nearest to you, walk to the upstairs bathroom, or use the restrooms that are located on the opposite side of the mall or park. Don’t walk three blocks to your nearest bakery, walk 10 blocks to the one you don’t frequent as often. Don’t enter the mall through the entrance closest the store you want to shop at, park a block away, on the street opposite where you want to go shopping. Don’t walk around your grocery store in an organized circle, get items from one side, then walk to the other side, and then back again. Don’t clean the upstairs, then go downstairs, clean one room upstairs, then walk downstairs and clean one room, then go back upstairs. You get the idea.
13. Make Commercial Time Walking Time
Watching your favorite program, yes, you could just zip past the commercials or change the channel, but what a great excuse to get up and walk. Even if you don’t want to leave the house, simply stand up and walk in circles or walk upstairs and then back down. Twice.
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14. Tell a Friend or Co-worker
You might be surprised at how many more steps you can add into your day when you tell people what you are doing. Show off your pedometer and explain that you are trying to break your step goal. Watch how many people will be more than willing to help you out. Your neighbor, for example, might immediately suggest that you two take the kids on a walk to the park each morning or your co-worker might suggest that you both take walking lunch breaks.
15. Walk Your Dog
Then walk him again. Dogs can literally walk almost all day long and we don’t give them anywhere near the amount of exercise they need. So if you walk Muffy in the morning, do it again in the evening, and then again before bed. Even just a quick 10 or 15 minute walk around the block will go a long way. Seriously, have you ever seen a dog say “no” to a walk? (Well, ok, maybe during a blizzard!) If you don’t have a dog, perhaps this is a good time to hit up your local shelter or rescue organization and get one. If you can’t have a dog for whatever reason, borrow your neighbor’s dog. Or create a virtual dog that you need to “walk” three times per day. Find a cute picture, post it on your door or fridge or where ever, give him a name, and offer to take him walking. Come on, have some fun with it! Because if it isn’t fun, why do it?