The gym routine can become monotonous. And, let’s face it, many of us can’t make it to the gym every day. You mean to get up early and go, but the baby kept you up all last night, and you need your sleep. After work? Sure! But it’s been a long day, and someone has to make dinner.
You do not have to go to the gym to be healthy, fit, and reach your fitness goals.
The Hidden Wealth of Walking
We hear people talk all the time about ‘steps.’ How they haven’t reached their ‘step goal’ yet. Why are people becoming so obsessed with steps? What happened to running, biking, and swimming as the ideals for staying healthy?
Becoming successful at anything starts with knowing where you want to go. A goal is a dream with a deadline. It’s a great idea to figure out where you are right now in terms of how many steps you walk a day or for how many minutes you walk. Then, set a long-term goal. 10,000 steps? An hour a day? Think big! Each day set goals to help work your way to the big one. Maybe today, we will get in 5,000 steps. Tomorrow 5,500 steps. Goals hold us accountable for improving every day.
How to Measure Steps
Fitbits are the talk of the ‘stepping’ world. They are cool little bracelets which measure things like steps, heart rate, and calories burned. But they are expensive. Any pedometer will measure your steps, you don’t need to spend a lot of money for just the basics.
How Do You Incorporate More Steps into a Busy Day?
It’s easy to say ‘walk more,’ but it’s another thing to find time to do it. Here are some simple, easy ways to incorporate more steps into your day.
- Park Further Away – We have all been guilty of being that person to try and race to the front parking spot at the grocery store. But think about how many extra steps we could add to our day by parking at the back! At least 100, depending on how large the parking lot is. If you are in a hurry, then walk faster!
- Stairs for Days – Skip the elevator. Shun the escalator! Take the stairs. Not only do you get more steps in, but stair climbing is a great cardio workout to help wake you up in the morning.
- Walk, Don’t Wait – The kids are at soccer practice, you’re waiting for the husband to come pick you up, or you’re in line at the grocery store on Black Friday. Why not use this time to walk? Walk around the park while the kids are at practice. Walk in place at the store (ignore the looks of the non-believers). Walk, walk, walk!
- Walk and Talk – Long phone calls can either be the best or the worst depending on who it is. Don’t stand in place or sit. Walk around the house, down the block, or in the backyard. Even if you are talking to the more boring, monotonous person, you are still being productive if you walk.
- Be a Kid Again – Why should the kids have all the fun? Play with them! Tag? Yes, please! Water gun fight? Why didn’t you say so sooner? Get kid time and exercise at the same time. It’s a win-win! (This works great with dogs too.)
Stop reading, get out there, and start walking!