In an age of digital fitness trackers, the 10,000 steps goal has emerged as the gold standard. Upping your step count, whether you increase your daily total to 5,000 or that coveted 10,000 steps goal, is one step toward being that much healthier.
At TVH we have a walking challenge for each season of the year to help encourage employees to be active and healthy. We also make it fun by adding in a little friendly competition by recognizing the top 20 steppers from each challenge. These top steppers have routinely reached a 16,000, or more, daily step average.
Whether you take 8,000 or 25,000 steps in a day, the two ultimate goals of tracking your steps are to increase your awareness of daily activity (or lack thereof) and to strive to be your best by increasing your daily step average. When these two goals are met you are a top stepper and it’s important to acknowledge your achievements.
Looking for additional motivation and guidance? Below are 10 techniques to keep you moving in the right direction and keep boredom from setting in.
1. Start small. Wear your device for a day or two and don’t do anything special. Get to know what a typical daily step count is for you. If your count is 3,000 per day, trying to get 10,000 will not only seem like an impossible goal but also comes with a high risk of injury. Instead, aim for a reasonable goal of 4,000. There’s nothing magical about the 10,000 steps per day, it’s more about progress. Start where you are and build to where you want to be.
2. Partner up. Walking with others on your journey is a great way to increase motivation and enjoyment. The shared experience will make it more about the progress and less about the number, which is an important part of creating lasting change. If you’re an office worker, consider walking meetings to get ideas and conversations flowing.
3. Take the stairs. Utilize the stairs at home and work. Set a timer and do several trips up and down. No gym required.
4. Pass on convenience. Get out of your car instead of doing drive ups. Park your car further away in the parking lot. Return shopping carts back into the store instead of the nearest cart corral. Develop the mindset and reap the health benefits.
5. Take a walking lunch break. Split your lunch into segments, one moving and the other sitting. A 10-to-15 minute movement break could log you up to 1,000 steps!
6. Exit out on the email habit. Rather than sending an email to a co-worker, walk over to their desk. Mini breaks are beneficial both mentally and physically.Your eyes will also benefit from a break from the computer screen.
7. Set a movement timer. Garmin wearables have a -red movement bar- to remind you to get up and move if you’ve been sitting for over an hour. Sitting is to the spine what sugar is to teeth.
8. Pre or post walks after meals. Take a walk with friends or family before or after dinner. Not only is it a great way to spend time together but it’s also a great way to disconnect from technology and enjoy nature. The more enjoyable the walks the more likely they will become a routine you look forward to.
9. Cardio dance shuffle. Put on some tunes and dance. Music brings joy to the mind, body and spirit, so tune in and tune up your health.
10. Pet friendly. Dogs are always up for a walk and help push us farther than we’d normally go. If you don’t have a dog, check with your neighbor, friend or local animal shelter for volunteering.
Getting those additional steps lead to a stronger heart, a more rugged metabolism, more stable blood sugar level and increased cognitive behavior.
Walking is easy to do but also easy not to do. Do something today that your future self will be grateful for.
If you would like to know more about the TVH Nudge Health and Wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.