Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for everyone, no matter what age they are. One simple way to do this is by increasing your daily step count. The recommended daily step goal is 7,500 steps, but many adults fall short of this. By increasing your daily step count, you can improve your overall health and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
In this blog post, we'll provide 15 creative ways to boost your daily step count and get moving. These tips will make it easy to add more physical activity to your daily routine and improve your overall health.
1. Take the stairs
One easy way to increase your daily step count is by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. This simple change can add several extra steps to your day without requiring any extra effort or time. Plus, taking the stairs has added health benefits such as improved cardiovascular fitness and strengthened muscles.
2. Walk or bike to work
Instead of driving to work or running errands, consider walking or biking instead. This not only increases your daily step count, but also has environmental benefits and can save on petrol. If walking or biking to work isn't feasible for the whole distance, try taking public transportation part of the way and walking the rest. You can also park your car farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
3. Plan a daily walk with a friend
Walking with a friend or family member can be a great way to improve your overall health. Aside from serving as motivation to stay active, it will also provide social time and support. Next time you are planning to meet someone, suggest a walk instead of the usual coffee or lunch.
4. Join a sports team or fitness group
Joining a sports team or local fitness group is a fun way to increase your daily step count. You'll also have the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people, which can help improve your social well-being. There are many options to choose from, such as a basketball team, hiking club, or swimming lessons. Find an activity that you enjoy and sign up today.
5. Use your lunch break for a walk
Your lunch break is the perfect opportunity to get some extra steps. During a typical workday, we often spend long periods of time sitting at our desks, which can lead to sedentary behavior and negative health consequences.
By taking a walk during your lunch break, you can break up this sedentary time. Not only will this increase your daily step count, but it can also help improve your mood and productivity for the rest of the day.
6. Get a standing or treadmill desk
A standing or treadmill desk allows you to stand or walk while you work, which can help improve your overall health and prevent sedentary behavior. Additionally, standing desks can also improve posture and reduce back pain. This list from GQ compiles some of the best standing desks within a range of prices.
Like any new piece of equipment or technology, it may take some time to get comfortable and familiar with a standing or treadmill desk. Hence, it's important to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing or walking.
7. Track your daily steps
Setting a goal to walk a certain number of steps each day and tracking how much you are walking can provide accountability and motivation to help you increase your daily step count. In fact, research has shown that people who track their physical activity are more likely to maintain an active lifestyle.
Being aware of how much you are moving can help you see how close you are to reaching your daily step goal and make adjustments to your daily routine if necessary. For example, if you see that you're falling short of your goal, you can add extra steps by taking a walk during your lunch break or doing some household chores.
Many smartphones will have a built-in pedometer that can track your daily step count but it is important to note that the accuracy of a smartphone pedometer may vary depending on factors such as phone placement and walking style. For a more accurate and reliable way to track your steps, consider using a dedicated pedometer or fitness tracker.
You can buy a basic pedometer from Amazon for less than £20 or opt for more advanced trackers like Fitbit which will record other metrics such as distance, calories burned, and sleep quality.
As you reach your step goals, try increasing the number of steps you aim for each day to continue challenging yourself.
8. Do some household chores
Household chores are often seen as a tedious necessity, but they can also be an opportunity to get some extra exercise. While vacuuming, try walking around the house instead of staying in one spot. You can also march in place while doing laundry or do some jumping jacks while waiting for the kettle to boil. By turning mundane tasks into a workout, you can easily add more steps to your day without even thinking about it.
9. Try a new fitness activity
Incorporating a new fitness activity into your routine is a great way to boost your daily steps. Find an activity that you enjoy and commit to doing it regularly, whatever this might be. Not only will this increase your step count, but it will also add variety to your fitness routine, which can help prevent boredom and burnout.
If you're used to walking or running, why not try a new activity like dancing, swimming, or cycling? These activities can challenge your body in different ways and provide new experiences and sensations.
10. Join a walking group or find a walking trail
Joining a walking group or finding a walking trail near you can be a great way to increase your daily step count and explore your local area. Walking with a group can provide support and motivation, and a new environment can make the experience more enjoyable. Many communities have organized walking groups or designated walking trails, so do some research and find one that works for you.
Don't know where to start? Check out Ramblers, a UK based walking charity that has local Ramblers groups where new members are always welcome. Its website provides details of many locally organised walks in towns, as well as the countryside.
11. Try interval training
Interval training is a type of exercise that involves alternating periods of high-intensity activity with periods of rest or low-intensity activity. This can be an effective way to get more steps in and improve your fitness level.
One of the benefits of interval training is that it can be tailored to your fitness level and goals. If you're just starting out, you can walk fast for one minute, then slow down for two minutes, and repeat. As you become more fit, you can increase the intensity and duration of the intervals to challenge yourself and improve your fitness.
Another benefit is that it can be done almost anywhere, with or without equipment. You can do intervals of running or jumping jacks in your living room, or incorporate intervals of running or cycling into your outdoor workout.
12. Play a game of catch with your kids or grandkids
Playing a game of catch with your kids or grandkids is a fun way to get moving and spend quality time with loved ones. Not only will it get everyone moving, but it will also bring back childhood memories and provide lots of laughter. You can also try other active games such as hopscotch, Simon Says, or hide and seek. Get the whole family involved and have a blast while getting some extra steps in.
13. Incorporate short walks into your daily routine
Incorporating short walks into your daily routine is a simple way to increase your daily step count without disrupting your schedule. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to walk around your block before breakfast or after dinner, or parking your car farther away from your destination and walking the rest of the way. Since you can do this without disrupting your schedule, this makes it a convenient and flexible way to get more steps in.
These short walks can add up and make a big difference in your overall health. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and stretch before and after your walk to avoid stiffness and injuries.
14. Make a conscious effort to move more throughout the day
Making a conscious effort to move more throughout the day can help you increase your daily step count without even realizing it. Try taking the long way to the bathroom, pacing while on the phone, or doing some calf raises while waiting in line. You can also set reminders for yourself to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every hour to prevent sedentary behavior.
15. Take a dance class
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned dancer, there are many options to choose from, such as salsa, jazz, or ballet. Taking a dance class not only increases your step count, but also improves coordination, flexibility, and balance. You'll also have the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. If you would rather boogie in the comforts of your own home, there are plenty of easy dance fitness videos on Youtube to get you started like this 8-minute ABBA warmup.