We all know that walking is one of the best things we can do for our health, stress, mood, energy, and more. Most of us don’t have jobs which allow us the amount of movement we were designed for. It can be difficult to find a way to meet your step goals, so here are some tips that may help!
1️⃣ Break it into chunks. If you don’t have time to dedicate longer walks, just remember that even smaller increments of time add up! Don’t make the mistake of thinking 5 or 10 minutes won’t be worth it. Honestly even smaller chunks than that add up. Park further from where are you normally would. Get up and go to talk to a coworker instead of emailing or calling them on the phone. Etc.
2️⃣ Add incrementally. It can be overwhelming to go from a few thousand steps to hitting a target of 10,000 a day. If you’re tracking with a Fitbit or other device, it is demotivating to not get the alert for meeting your target. Instead of trying to commit to the ultimate goal, I prefer to have clients start with an achievable goal and build. That way you get motivation for hitting the goal on a daily basis, rather than “failing.“ To do this, set a goal that you know you can hit with a just little bit of effort. Then once you are consistently hitting that goal, add 500 steps. Continue this until you get to your ultimate goal.
3️⃣ Get creative. Things like house walking or a treadmill desk can be very effective at meeting your goals. I have a loop in my house where I can walk circles through the kitchen and living room. You can also set up a desk on a treadmill if you have one and use it while you do things on your computer. While I was still working in clinic seeing patients, I would walk the loop around the nurses station on my break at lunch or at the end of the day. Find places and make it work!
4️⃣ Pair it with another activity. This can be useful from both a time standpoint and a motivation standpoint. Instead of trying to carve out time in your day to devote to walking, add it to something else you already do. You could walk and read, pray, talk on the phone, or do other little miscellaneous tasks like clearing your email inbox or deleting some of the old photos and notes on your phone. I love being productive in multiple ways like this! (I actually wrote this while walking 😉) You can also pair it with something that will motivate you to follow through on your walking goals. Allow yourself to play a game on your phone or scroll social media only when you are walking. This is not productive, but can be a useful way to get things accomplished if you’re not motivated otherwise.
5️⃣ Replace other activities. This might not be the one that you want to hear, but if you’re willing to make the sacrifice it will be worth it. Instead of watching 30 minutes of TV, get your spouse and kids to join you for a quick walk. Instead of chitchatting after lunch at work, fit in some steps at the end of your break. Who knows they may even join you!
1/ Do you walk daily?
2/ What’s your best tip for getting in more steps?