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Walking more is a simple, free and fun way to start getting fit, while gradually increasing your activity levels. Walking 10,000 steps a day is the recommended amount and whilst it may seem overwhelming, it’s classed as a moderate-intensity activity and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise, which is why it’s perfect for easing you in to a fitness regime.
So, how can you up your daily steps to reach your 10,000 goal? Grab your pedometer and try these tips for cranking up your daily steps.
Take the stairs
Yes, it’s really this simple. If you’ve got stuck in the habit of taking the lift at work, take the stairs for a change. If you work on the second floor, for example, taking the stairs can add as many as 30 more steps on your pedometer, compared to the zero you get by opting for the lift. Every little helps.
Leave the car at home
Most of us have become overly dependent on our cars, using them to get from A to B and everywhere else in between. Need to pop to the shops? Walk. Want to skip the rush hour traffic after work? Walk. If these aren’t viable options, get off the bus a couple of stops early, or park in the furthest away space in the car park. Simple swaps like these will slowly and surely increase your daily steps.
Take a post dinner stroll
Are you guilty of eating dinner then sitting in front of the TV all evening? Most of us are. Try stepping outside and taking a short after-dinner walk instead. Walking after eating can aid digestion, increase your metabolism, lower blood sugars, and help you get a better night’s sleep.
Get away from reality
If you find walking boring, a little distraction can make it easier and turn it into something you look forward to. Try listening to podcasts or audiobooks whilst you stroll and you’ll find that the time flies by and you start to enjoy your walk as peaceful ‘me’ time.
Add some healthy competition
Sometimes a little competition can be the drive we need to get active. Using wearables like FitBit, Apple Watch, Pebble, to name a few, you can compete with friends and family to see who’s getting the most daily steps. This will give you the drive to add a few more steps to your day to try and beat them.