So, you’ve made a commitment to yourself to be more active — nice going! But between costly gym memberships, expensive exercise classes and increasingly busy schedules, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your commitments and fitness goals (without breaking the bank).
Luckily, walking is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to stay active throughout the day — and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment, memberships or class subscriptions.
If you use a fitness tracker (or are thinking about getting one), you probably know that tracking the number of steps you take each day can be a huge motivation booster. Yet some days, it can still feel like a challenge to reach that 10,000 step goal. So, how can you fit more average steps per day into your routine?
Here are a few of our favorite ways to sneak those extra steps in — without even stepping foot inside a gym!
1. Park further away. This one’s easy — just park your car at the far end of the lot and get some bonus steps on your way to and from your car.
2. Pace during your next phone call or TV show. A half-hour phone call or TV show can put you hundreds or thousands of steps closer to your goal. Or if you can’t get up from your desk during the day, try some deskercise moves at work.
3. Walk to somebody instead of emailing them. Is your co-worker across the building or campus? Go see them face to face instead of shooting them an email or text.
4. Partner up. Find a walking buddy and join forces. Establish a daily or weekly time to meet up and go for a walk.
5. Take a walk at lunch. When lunch is over, take a quick stroll around the block before going back to work. The fresh air will do you good.
6. Add some accountability. Post your goals on social media, or take on a personal challenge on any of your favorite fitness apps to keep yourself accountable to your goals.
7. Take the stairs. Avoid escalators and elevators and rack up some steps instead! By foregoing elevators, you’ll use less energy, and you’ll get a personal energy boost from the activity.
8. Take your dog for a walk. Schedule some extra playtime for your pooch. Your pet will love the extra time outdoors (and it will help you sneak in more average steps per day).
9. End your trip early. Get off the bus or out of your taxi a block or two from your destination and walk the rest of the way — especially if it’s nice out.
10. Find a new establishment. Is there a new lunch or dinner place within walking distance of your workplace or home? Time to find out! Explore the neighborhood by foot to find some new spots.
11. Walk while you wait. Who needs the waiting room? If you have time, take a walk around the building or block instead of sitting. It’ll make the time go by faster, too!
12. Set an hourly alarm. Many fitness trackers have hourly buzzers to get you up and moving. Activate them and add to your average steps per day.
13. Break it up. Ten thousand steps don’t have to happen all at once. Schedule smaller walks throughout the day to make it easier on yourself.
14. Take a walk after dinner. Instead of flopping in front of the TV or computer, take thirty minutes and enjoy an evening stroll.
15. Fire up a walking workout. YouTube has dozens of free walking workouts to choose from. Try one out in place of your morning routine.
16. Make a circuit while shopping. Explore the mall or shopping center in an inefficient way to get more steps in while you shop.
17. Walk all the way to work. If your work is within walking distance, of course. Not only is it a more sustainable choice of transportation, it will help energize you for the day ahead. Bonus points if you walk home from work, too!
18. Take the track. The track at your local high school or college is just about 2K steps. Take a lap around if you need a boost in your daily step count.
19. Walk for charity. Do yourself some good while you do good for others! This one’s a win-win.
20. Start a competition. Make an office bet to see who can rack up the most steps in a week. A little friendly family competition never hurt anyone, either.
21. Take a tour. Check out a new museum or take a local walking the next time you have a free weekend.
22. Go geocaching. Try out geocaching games with the family and rack up steps while you have fun!
23. Take a hike. Take a weekend trip somewhere new and get out into the great outdoors. You’ll be surprised at how many steps you can rack up on a scenic hike.
24. Reward yourself! While this won’t net you more steps directly, giving yourself an extra treat will help keep you motivated and energetic.
With a little ingenuity and a few tricks up your sleeve, it becomes easy (and even fun!) to incorporate more walking into your daily routine. By taking even just a few of these ideas, you’ll be sure to turn your daily step goal into reality in no time.
Need some motivation to get started? Check out BLINQ’s deals on fitness technology to help you set your goals, track your progress and stay accountable.
Do you have any strategies or tactics you use to increase your average steps per day? I’d love to hear your tips and success stories in the comments below!