I’ve been on the fitness tracker train for a while. My parents gifted me a Fitbit a couple years ago for Christmas and I got obsessed. All the things you’ve read about Fitbit-ers talking nonstop about their step count and pacing around their apartments before bed to hit their step goals? So true.
During college, when I was walking from class to class all day, climbing stairs everywhere, and routinely trekking across campus to the gym, getting in the recommended 10,000 steps each day was no problem. I didn’t even have to think about it. But now that I’ve got a 9-5 desk job lifestyle, I hardly hit 2,500 steps if I don’t specifically work at it.
For months, I didn’t realize how sedentary my days were. Now that I’ve been reunited with my Fitbit and I know, I’ve been making these tiny changes here and there to squeeze every step out of my day:
1. Take the stairs.
Even on the days when I wear heels to work, I take the four flights of stairs up from the basement to my third floor office. It gives me a jolt of energy, especially in the morning, and takes only a minute or two longer than taking the elevator. I also take those same stairs back down at the end of the day.
2. Pace while you’re on the phone.
It’s easy to plop down into a chair when you’re on the phone, but don’t do it! I try to get up and walk around while I’m talking. In addition to increasing my step count, it actually helps keep me focused; I don’t fall into that comfy, sleepy feeling that can be so distracting during long phone calls.
3. Park far from the entrance.
Unless the weather is just really not behaving, I try to park as far as I (reasonably) can from building entrances. I park on the far end of the parking lot at work each day and when I grocery shop. Not only does parking far away mean more steps, it also means it’ll be easier to find a parking space.
4. Make multiple trips while unloading groceries.
I know it’s tempting to overload yourself with bags so you can make one giant trip inside when you’re unloading the car after a shopping trip, but don’t! Instead, take only a few bags at a time and come back for the rest. This significantly decreases the chances that you’ll crush or drop something during the unloading process.
5. Keep moving when you’re at home.
By the time I get home each day, I am ready to burrow into my couch. For a while, my days ended like this: come home, change into sweatpants, make food, eat food, sit on couch, sit on couch, sit on couch. The first half of that is still what goes on, but now I’m making a special effort to move around throughout the evening. That might mean some at-home exercise or a quick pre-bed clean sweep of the house — it’s all good!
It’s amazing what tiny tweaks can do for your step count. Do you have any tricks to share?