Get Movement into your life: 10 top tips for 10,000 steps

Posted by Jackie Wren on 13th August 2018

As we all know, we need to get more movement and activity in our daily routine to help us be healthy, fit and strong.  I am always encouraging my personal training clients to include walking as part of their daily exercise.  In a recent study complied by Public Health England, it was found people in the UK sit down for an average of 8.9 hours a day, this is often because we have jobs and hobbies that mean we have to spend a lot of time at desks, or sitting at our computer etc. Sometimes working out ways to get more movement is a struggle, so I am going to share with you my personal top tips for making this more achievable.

 

Firstly, counting your steps is a fantastic way to encourage yourself to take a break from the chair, get up and get active. We all like to see the results of our hard work and counting your daily steps is something you can record and build on, getting rid of any guess work. It's also worth remembering that 10,000 steps equates to five miles - I know 5 miles! - or one hour and 40 minutes walking, which can burn around a staggering 500 calories!  According to NHS Choices doing 10,000 steps a day can go a long way towards helping you lose weight and get healthier.  It may sound like a lot of steps but if you remember that a sedentary person burns about 2000 a day then with a little bit of extra effort you can soon bump your step count up.

 

1. Get a step counter

You can use any device that counts your steps from a cheap pedometer that records your movement to the latest fitness tracker, smart watch or phone app. You will need to check it through the day to see your progress. The best thing about step counters is that if you notice your step count is low, you’re much more likely to be motivated to get up and about to complete your 10,000 a day! If you are not used to much exercise it's fine to start on a lower number of steps and gradually build them up but do keep a record so you can track your progress.

2. Go the extra mile

On your daily commute, school run or shopping trip, start making it a daily habit to get off the train or bus one stop before or after your destination, or park a mile away from where you are going. Walking the children to school can be great fun (especially during the summer) so try parking further from school to give yourself and your children some exercise and fresh air before your busy day. These all take a little bit of time management but it's an easy way to really bump up your step count.

3. Reminders

I recommend setting little reminders as we are all so busy and it's easy to forget to check your steps. Some of the fitness trackers beep if you have been sitting for a long time to remind you to get going but I find the best thing is to set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to take a quick break and walk round the block or climb the office stairs. It works wonders!

4. Climb every mountain

It's very easy get in the habit of using the lift or escalator but you will be surprised how many steps you can do in one day if you take the stairs. If you work on the ground floor, then consider using the toilet facilities on the level a few floors up or getting your refreshments from the machine or kitchen on a higher floor.

5. Never miss a moment

Quite often we put the kettle on and sit down while we wait for it to boil. Every time you find yourself waiting for something don't go and sit back down. Try marching on the spot or step up and down on a stair whilst you wait. Before you know it, you will have bumped your steps right up.

6. Competitions

It's great fun and very motivating to challenge your friends to ‘who can do the most steps in a week.’ You can have a little prize for the winner each week, something small like a shared winners' cup that is handed to the victor at the end of each week.

7. Walk for Charity

Find a locally charity walk to enter or another form of physical challenge. This will be a great way to help your charity whilst improving your health and wellbeing. This summer Cancer Research UK are running their annual Race for Life events, I’ll be joining alongside fellow panellists to #getmore good in our lives and support an amazing charity.

8.  Man's best friend

Going for several short walks or one long walk is the best way to increase your steps.  If you’re lucky enough to have a dog in your life, you are hopefully already walking several miles a day. It's always good to have a purpose for walking and dogs really do help make it fun. If you don't have your own dog ask at your local rescue centre or someone you know if you can exercise their furry friend.

9. Buddies

If you can find a walking group that meet during lunch times/evenings/weekends you will find the camaraderie of the group very motivating and it's fun to have someone to chat to.  

10. Good habits

It takes about two weeks for your actions to become a habit and this is one good habit you can nurture.  So, get more movement into your life and you will reap the benefits for the rest of your life. Regardless of your age and your current activity level increasing your daily steps is achievable and rewarding.

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