For some people, getting in your steps for the day comes easy without a second thought as to how it gets done. For others, though, it can be quite a challenge to reach their daily step goal.
Depending on your lifestyle, whether you hit the gym regularly, and the type of work you do, those factors could greatly influence your overall step count as well as your fitness level. If your job requires sitting at a desk or spending lots of time at a computer, it may be more difficult to reach your daily step goal but don’t worry, read on for some tips and tricks for getting in your steps each day.
Do You Really Need 10,000 Steps Per Day?
You’ve probably heard that 10,000 steps per day is the baseline step goal for daily movement, but why 10,000? Who decided that 10,000 should be the target number of steps for everyone?
Averaging about five miles in distance for most people, or around 30 minutes of exercise, 10,000 steps per day satisfies the CDC’s recommendation for around 150 minutes of weekly physical activity. Breaking that weekly goal up into manageable daily chunks of time helps spread out your activity and get you closer to reaching your fitness goals, whatever they may be.
While it may not be necessary to reach the 10,000 steps every single day—you’re entitled to a rest day, after all—it’s a great benchmark when you’re trying to stay healthy and lead an active lifestyle. Depending on your fitness goals, whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, or simply be healthier, you may want to increase your step goal to keep challenging yourself and reap the benefits of more activity.
Benefits of Getting More Steps
Getting more steps each day can have several physical and mental health benefits.
More steps lead to improved muscle strength and can help with weight loss. Being active daily can also help prevent illness and health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and stroke. When a person stays consistently active for a longer term, they can even help prevent certain types of cancer, like breast, colon, kidney, stomach, and lung cancer.
When you get more steps, it helps reduce your stress levels, improves blood pressure, and helps to increase your metabolism so you burn more calories and may even get an added boost of energy. Regular physical activity can also keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.
In addition to getting more steps to reap the health benefits, you can also vary the frequency and intensity of your physical activity. Going beyond the 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity like running or jogging can help you gain even more health benefits. You should also supplement your daily step goal with muscle-strengthening activities that work the main muscle groups in the body.
How Can You Get More Steps?
In order to set a goal for getting more steps, you must first get a feel for your current level of activity. Going from 2,000 to 3,000 steps up to 10,000 every day can seem like a daunting challenge, but setting gradual, progressive goals for getting in your steps is a better option. If your current daily steps are in the lower thousands, try first setting a goal of 1,000 to 2,000 more steps per day to start out. Then, once you are consistently meeting that goal, increase your step goal and keep working to challenge yourself.
Getting more steps in as part of your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Just like with deciding on your daily step goal, start small and gradually increase your goal and step count, and keep working harder each and every day.
Below are some tips and tricks for getting in your steps.
- Taking daily walks is a simple and easy way to get more steps in. To hold yourself accountable, set a specific time each day to get at least a quick walk in. Work a walk into your lunchtime routine or start your morning off with an outdoor stroll to get your blood flowing, feel more energized, and get a head start on your steps for the day.
- If it’s raining outside or the weather is less than inviting, try a treadmill workout at home or at EōS Fitness. Even if you’re a beginner, treadmills are versatile and a great way to improve your overall health and fitness level.
- Try walking during meetings. Instead of sitting at a desk for your next work meeting or lounging on the couch while catching up with a friend, get outside and walk around the block while you’re on the phone. Can’t get outside? You can just as easily walk around inside or even walk in place to keep your body moving.
- Cut down on multitasking. If you’re efficient around the house when doing chores, cleaning, putting away laundry, etc., that’s great. It may seem counterintuitive to be less efficient, like making two trips instead of one for the same task, but it will certainly help you get in more steps.
- Recruit friends or family to help start a walking routine. Take an after-dinner walk in the evenings with the family or grab a co-worker for a quick stroll during the day. Having a partner to hold you accountable will help you get more steps.
- Taking the stairs is an easy way of getting more steps. While elevators and escalators are quite convenient, they aren’t great for your step goal or your fitness goals. Yes, stairs take extra time and more effort, so plan ahead—it’s worth it!
- Park farther away in parking lots. When you’re going to work, going shopping, or elsewhere, note the location of the entrance and make an effort to add distance to your walk by parking farther away.
- Try a new group fitness class at EōS that’s focused more on cardio, like Bang™, Step it Up, Old Skool Step, or one of the dance fitness classes like Hip Hop Groove or EōS Dance Party. You’ll not only scorch some serious calories, you’ll also rack up the step count while having fun.
There are countless ways to get more steps in a day. Start by making small improvements and adding a few more steps to your daily tasks, and you’ll be reaching—and exceeding—your step goal in no time.