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18 Hacks for Getting in 10,000 Steps Per Day

A simple, regular walking routine can be one of the best ways to improve your health. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly improve overall health, boost mood, and increase energy levels. Yet, with busy schedules and sedentary lifestyles, finding time to stay active can be challenging.

Statistics reveal that the average American walks only about 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day, far below the recommended 10,000 steps for optimal health. But don’t let those numbers discourage you! Adding 1,000 extra steps at a time each day can make a significant difference- with the goal of gradually building to 10,000 over time. 

So, how can you increase your step count without drastically changing your lifestyle? Here are 18 plenty of simple, creative ways to sneak in those extra steps throughout your day.

1. A Far Away Parking

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If you drive, try parking your car at the far end of the parking lot. This simple change can have multiple benefits. The extra steps you take to and from your destination can quickly add up, contributing to your daily physical activity and helping you stay more active. 

Additionally, it reduces the stress of finding a closer spot and saves time during busy periods. Over time, these small efforts can improve your overall health and well-being.

2. Monitor Your Daily Progress

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Do you track your daily progress? If not, start by recording it; this is crucial for reaching your goal of 1,000 steps (and eventually 10,000 steps). Consider purchasing a fitness tracker to count your daily steps and monitor other health metrics like heart rate and calorie burn.

Alternatively, many free apps are available for smartphones and smartwatches to help you track these changes. To stay motivated, set a reward for yourself upon achieving your goal. Whether it’s a small snack treat or a favorite weekly dish, having something to look forward to will help keep you on track.

3. Meeting on the Go

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Whether you’re working from home or at the office, add some movement to your day by walking while giving presentations or taking calls. If you’re remote, take client calls and hold meetings while strolling around, indoors or outdoors. 

At the office, invite a coworker for a walk to chat about work. It’s a great way to have meaningful conversations and enjoy a change of scenery. Walking gives you a breath of fresh air and can really lift your mood. You might even find that your interactions are more productive. Plus, switching up your walking buddies helps you build better relationships with colleagues and keeps you on track with your professional goals.

4. Take the Stairs

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While elevators and escalators are undeniably convenient, they reduce the number of daily steps you take. Whether you live in an apartment or work in a high-rise office, opting for the stairs whenever possible can benefit your health. Take the stairs at every opportunity.

For instance, if your office is on the 20th floor, consider exiting the elevator on the 17th floor and climbing the remaining stairs. This approach engages a variety of muscle groups and helps burn more calories, offering a quick and effective way to exercise. It strengthens your body, improves heart health, and helps prevent weight gain.

5. Play Your Favorite Music

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Some individuals strongly prefer the sounds of nature during their walks, as they bring them joy. However, others need something else to enhance their walking experience. If you fall into the latter category, consider listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook.

Good music or podcasts can make the time pass quicker, and music can even add some extra pep to your step. In fact, sometimes people go for a walk simply because they’re motivated to enjoy their favorite tunes.

6. Add Steps to Your Daily Chores

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You should find ways to make the chores you have to do more difficult by adding some physical activity to your routine. For example, consider walking to the store instead of driving if you need to buy groceries or monthly household items. If you end up with a lot of items, you can book a ride back home to carry everything. However, if you only have a few items, try walking back home as well to keep the physical activity going.

Another way to incorporate more movement into your daily tasks is, instead of carrying all of your laundry down the stairs in one go, divide it into two or three trips. This not only makes the task less daunting but also provides you with additional exercise. 

7. Drink More Water

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Proper hydration is crucial for weight loss and maintaining a healthy body. Drinking water can also boost your step count by encouraging you to get up to use the restroom more often. 

So, whether at home or in the office, pick a bathroom farther away or on another floor to get those extra steps in. Every little bit adds up and pushes you closer to your fitness goals!

8. Visit Your Relatives or Friends

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Why not see your relatives or friends in person instead of sending an email or having a quick chat through a messaging app? It is so simple; instead of texting each other daily, visits like these will bring happiness to our lives.

Make a list of friends and relatives you haven’t visited, especially the ones within walking distance. Then, try visiting them during the weekends or week nights when you have some time.

9. Dancing

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Put on your favorite song and dance around your house or inside your room like you don’t care about anything. It will allow you to incorporate some fun into your day while also building up those steps. If you have children or a partner interested in a challenge, you should invite them to participate in a dance competition.

It will raise your heart rate and your vibes, and before you know it, you will be dancing your way to that daily step target that you have set for yourself.

10. Keep a Pet

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Taking your pet for a walk is super beneficial because it helps you rack up steps in no time. If you’re in the habit of morning or evening walks, your pet can keep things interesting and prevent boredom. You’ll likely have to chase them if/when they try to run off, which means even more steps for you.

These walks can supplement your regular workouts or even replace them on some days. Aim for two sets of about 1.5 miles each, and both you and your pet will benefit. 

11. A Walk After Dinner

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Walking after dinner can be great for physical and mental well-being. It aids digestion, improves sleep quality, and helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is especially beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes (or prevention).

Use an evening walk as a time to connect with your family or partner. Walking together offers an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation, strengthening your relationship despite a hectic routine. You might be pleasantly surprised to find you’ve met your step goal on your smartwatch while enjoying a chat with your partner, making the experience both healthy and enjoyable.

12. Walk During Commercials

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While watching your favorite TV show, consider getting up and moving around during commercial breaks instead of staying on the comfy sofa. Walking around the room during these intervals can be highly beneficial.

To increase your step count and burn more calories, try incorporating activities like jumping jacks, marching in place, or running up and down the stairs before returning to your sofa as the show resumes.

13. Get to Know Your Neighbourhood

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Take a leisurely, random walk around your neighborhood. This is a wonderful way to explore your surroundings while meeting your daily step goals. Use Google Maps to find various route options; you might even stumble upon a new restaurant or café you didn’t know existed (if you live in town).

If you use public transportation, consider getting off the bus a few stops before or after your usual one on your way home. This helps you increase your daily step count and saves money on bus fare. Plus, this kind of exploration offers numerous benefits that will serve you well in the future.

14. Challenge Yourself

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Whenever you feel like skipping exercise, remind yourself why walking matters more to you. Whether you’re aiming to fit into those old jeans or just want to build up stamina so you don’t gasp every time you climb stairs, it’s important to remember your reasons.

Instead of trying to carve out a big chunk of time at the end of the day, it’s better to schedule short breaks throughout the day to get up and move around. Remember, all kinds of exercise benefit your body and mind, but having a reason to do it can really help.

15. Join A Step Challenge

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If you’re aiming to achieve your fitness goals, consider joining a step challenge. Walking alone can often be boring and tiring, but this challenge offers a solution to those “boring, lonely walks.” You can form a group with people who share similar fitness goals, whether they are family, friends, or colleagues.

This challenge makes your walks enjoyable, and since you and your partners have the same objectives, you can easily track your achievements and progress. If you thrive on competition, this challenge is perfect for you. Seeing others take on challenges can spark contagious motivation, encouraging you to push yourself further.

16. Play with Children

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Playing with children in the park is a good way to get closer to your daily goal of 1000 steps and beyond. Running around can improve your stamina and endurance and reduce your stress levels. Spending time with your children can also strengthen your family bond, create memories, and share stories. 

Also, if you see some kids playing sports, engage with them. The more you run here and there while playing with them, the more you will achieve your daily target. 

17. Use Treadmill 

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When the weather’s bad, walking on a treadmill is a great way to hit your daily step goal. This is especially helpful when running outside isn’t an option. Using a treadmill lets you control your workout environment, including the temperature, speed, and incline.

Plus, many modern treadmills come with cool features like heart rate monitors, pre-programmed workouts, and entertainment options, making your walking routine more engaging and suited to your fitness level.

18. Pace While Waiting

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Rather than sitting idle while waiting for an appointment or during your child’s extracurricular activities, consider taking a walk around the area. It will keep you active and offer an opportunity to explore your surroundings, clear your mind, and enjoy some fresh air.

Walking can elevate your mood, enhance cardiovascular health, and boost overall fitness. Additionally, you might uncover new places, meet interesting people, or appreciate a change of scenery, making your waiting time both productive and enjoyable.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

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