Since getting a Fitbit I feel like my usage of this word must’ve at least tripled. Some may see it as a positive, some may see it as a negative but I’m sure most Fitbit users would agree – they make you become slightly obsessed with walking around. (This post is not sponsored by Fitbit but I will take a free one if you’re peeping.)
I think for many people, you don’t realise how many steps you actually do in a day until you track them. Then when you do begin to track them you just want to do more and the satisfying little vibration on your wrist when you reach your goal makes it all worthwhile – don’t even get me started on the feeling I get when I win a workweek hustle. I admit I do struggle to get my steps up on days when I don’t go to the gym, I have a very sedentary office job and I usually cycle to work which (unfairly) doesn’t contribute to my step count.
I love walking and there are so many benefits. It’s completely free, you can walk around pretty places, there is no equipment necessary, you can do it alone or with a pal or with 10 pals, you can eat whilst you walk, you can listen to music, you control your pace, it reduces stress, apparently lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes (but I’m not going to pretend to know anything about that), improves sleep, improves balance and coordination. Honestly, it’s my favourite exercise.
The average person walks between 3,000 and 5,000 steps per day but it’s recommended to aim for 10,000. I have my goal set to 15,000 because clearly I hate myself but with just being mindful about my activity in the day I generally reach this most days of the week. So here are my top tips for getting as many steps in your day as possible without breaking a sweat or even really noticing –
- If you have time, leave for work/school/where you spend your day a little earlier and walk a longer route. If you’re feeling really pumped you could go for a brisk stroll/jog before you even shower and get ready for the day (I don’t do this)
- Walk around at work more, I tend to use the toilets and printer furthest away from my desk. Bonus: not only does this get extra steps but also wastes time so I don’t have to do work
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Don’t take the bus if you can easily walk the distance
- Make the most of your lunch break, when the weather is nice I will wander around outside which gives me a couple of thousand steps and breaks up the day nicely
- I try to go to the gym or for a run each evening but to be honest lately that hasn’t been happening. If I am sacking off exercising I will at least try to walk to the supermarket or meet a friend and go for a drink or something – somewhat counterproductive as I’m just putting back in the calories I’d have burned from walking but it isn’t all about calories!
I think the key thing is making it a habit, I used to go for a 15 minute walk after dinner everyday and that is something I’d like to start doing again. It’s such a tiny amount of the day but any amount of exercise is good for me and it makes such a huge difference to my mood!
I love the idea of this, let’s all just go for a walk and be happy and nice to each other.
“Walking at our own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of our bodies and our mental state that we cannot experience as easily when we’re jogging at the gym, steering a car, biking, or during any other kind of locomotion. When we stroll, the pace of our feet naturally vacillates with our moods and the cadence of our inner speech; at the same time, we can actively change the pace of our thoughts by deliberately walking more briskly or by slowing down.”