Counting Steps? How to Fit More Into Your Day

Article posted in: Fitness
woman looking at her activity watch

While it seems like the health-minded crowd has recently been taken with the notion of counting steps, the foundation for the pedometer can be traced all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci. The pedometers of today include many advanced features like counting calories and monitoring sleep cycles, but the basic effectiveness of counting steps still remains. Research from a 2009 Harvard Health Letter shows pedometers to be effective motivational tools that work best when combined with a set goal, like 10,000 steps (equivalent to roughly five miles), making them beneficial for weight and health management. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association this equates to an increase in physical activity by a whopping 27 percent because those who use pedometers to measure their steps take 2,000 more steps on average than those who don’t.

Join in and step up your steps with these easy strategies for fitting more movement into your daily routine:

1. Engage in friendly competition
Turn counting steps into a game. Grab a family member or friend and compare your steps on a daily or weekly basis. Or, set walking dates to reach your goals together. The buddy system always helps to motivate and entertain—fitness is more fun with friends.

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2. Make it a family affair
Turn family time into an outdoor activity. Go for a post-dinner walk around the neighborhood or plan a trip to a local trail over the weekend. This way, you get your steps in while also catching up with loved ones.

3. Park far away
Whether you’re pulling in to the office, the grocery story, the post office or the mall, choose a parking spot that’s far from the building. This little change can add in hundreds of steps if practiced regularly.

4. Walk that commute
If you live close to your office, choose to walk all or part of the way. For public transportation users, get off one stop earlier than your destination and hoof it the rest of the way in.

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5. Turn your meeting into a walk n’ talk
You spend at least eight hours of your day in the office so it’s crucial that you make the workday work for you by slipping in some time for fitness. Turn your one-on-one meetings into a walk n’ talk. Take the session outside for a new perspective or utilize the hallways on your floor.

6. Schedule walking breaks
Pre-plan walking breaks into your day to avoid the pitfalls of sedentary life. Head outdoors at lunch, take your coffee break on the go, and just stretch your legs as often as you can. Use the bathroom that’s across the office or on another floor, and find the water fountain that takes some work to get to.