Walking is the simplest form of exercise and the easiest way to improve your health. It does not require any special equipment and can literally be done anywhere. The health benefits of regular walking are plenty - it promotes weight loss, reduces stress and anxiety, boosts metabolism, improves sleep quality, and more. But knowing you should walk more is one thing and actually doing so is another.
Many of us have busy schedules or set routines, and finding time to set aside solely for walking isn’t always an easy task. Luckily, sneaking in extra steps while going about your daily routine isn’t difficult at all. In the article below, we gathered 10 creative ways to increase your daily step count and enjoy all the above-listed benefits of walking without breaking a sweat.
There is no better way to motivate yourself to do any exercise than making it a social event. The next time you go on a walk, invite a friend, your partner, or anyone else you enjoy spending time with. It's even better if you can both fit the walks into your routine and make it a habit.
You will walk more and barely notice the extra steps as you’re catching up. If no one is free to take a walk with you at the moment, you could also catch up with friends or family on the phone.
Counting your own steps is nearly impossible, and let’s admit it, it's quite boring too. Luckily, many apps are designed just for that purpose. Some phones come with a built-in pedometer that you only need to turn on. Alternatively, you could download an app that offers more features than just a step counter. For example, measuring the distance you have walked, tracking burned calories, and more.
One such recommended app is Fitbit. In addition to being a step tracker, this app can also log your food and hydration each day while managing your health and fitness goals. Click here to get it for iOS or Android.
One demographic that doesn’t struggle to get in plenty of steps during the day is children. And they make it fun, too. If you have kids or grandkids who visit you often, then you’re in luck - you basically have your own little personal trainer!
Playing tag or kickball, chasing after an energetic toddler, playing on the playground, or simply taking a stroller walk are all fun ways to bond with kids while also getting more steps in.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still not entirely a thing of the past, and that is just one reason to avoid cramped elevators. Not only is climbing the stairs safer in that regard, but it is also a great opportunity to exercise. If your destination floor is the second or third, make it a habit to opt for the stairs. Finding those little moments to sneak in more walking during the day is key to increasing your activity without breaking a sweat, according to fitness expert Erin Paruszewski.
It’s virtually impossible to do gardening without walking around quite a bit. From weeding to walking up and down garden beds or just watering your existing plants and flowers, gardening always ends up being a workout. And that’s great!
Moreover, it’s not the only benefit of this activity either. Studies prove gardening does wonders for our mental health. “Interacting with nature, especially with the presence of water, can increase self-esteem and mood, reduce anger, and improve general psychological well-being with positive effects on emotions or behavior,” said Dr. Charlie Hall to AgriLife.
Drinking plenty of water is generally always good advice. ‘But how could it increase my steps per day?' you might be asking yourself. Well, you’ll quickly discover that the more water you drink, the more bathroom trips you will need. And nothing motivates you to get up and get moving more than a full bladder.
This might sound funny or insignificant. But according to many personal trainers and fitness experts, every little bit helps when it comes to increasing your daily step count. You could get even more walking in if you choose a bathroom that is a little further away or one on a different floor altogether.
The fastest route between points A and B isn’t always the one worth taking. If you have time and energy to spare, you can add extra steps en route to a specific destination by finding a different path. In addition to fitting more activity in your day, you could discover new and beautiful parts of your town or city you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Parking further away from your destination guarantees you take more steps every day. It also makes the task of finding a parking space much easier. No more circling around the parking lot to find the most convenient spot while racing with the other drivers to be the first to occupy it.
Whether you’re going to the gym, the grocery store, or the coffee shop, park as far away as possible to get those extra steps in your day.
If you have a job or a general routine that requires you to sit down for long hours, your breaks are the perfect time to get moving. Staying in one spot is far from being the only way to relax. For example, you could use your break to practice mindful walking, which will help calm your hectic thoughts and be the light exercise you need. To learn more about this practice, check out our article Here’s a Simple Guide on How to Do Walking Meditation.
Dog owners have the perfect excuse to get out of the house and move around a few times a day, every day. For that reason, dog owners have longer life spans compared to the rest of the population.
If there is a dog in your household, consider taking over the dog-walking responsibilities (if you haven’t done so already). Of course, we are aware that not everyone has a dog, and adopting one is not a viable option for everyone. If this is the case for you, but you crave the company of a furry friend, you could donate some of your free time to volunteer at a local dog shelter or offer help to a loved one who owns a dog.
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