Here's How to Get Your 10,000 Steps, Straight From Fitness Experts Who Do It Every Day
There are so many reasons to get more steps: walking can improve your mood, keep you healthy, and even help you lose weight. Experts recommend getting 10,000 steps each day, which can seem daunting. But you'll find that it's really gratifying once you start to see that step count tick upward on your smart watch or fitness tracker. If you're struggling to find ways to make it happen, try these tips from fitness pros:
- Shop locally. "If your neighborhood has a corner store or grocery store within walking distance, try to hit that up sometimes," Kat Wiersum, interval instructor at Studio Three in Chicago, told POPSUGAR. "It's definitely tempting to drive to the nearest big box store, but you'll utilize your neighborhood resources (potentially local small businesses!) and get those steps in."
- Park further away. Wherever you're headed, whether to the store or work, "park at the end of the lot," said NCCPT-certified personal trainer Katie Dunlop, owner of Love Sweat Fitness. "Those few extra feet can add up fast."
- Take the stairs, instead of the elevator. "Stairs not only get you extra steps, but if you sit at a desk most of the day, they can also help you keep your glutes activated throughout the day and avoid dead butt," Katie told POPSUGAR.
- Walk while you're waiting. "Whether you're waiting for a friend, a date, or your doctor, there are always a few extra minutes. Instead of sitting down to wait, move it," Katie said.
- Stay active during lunch, instead of eating at your desk. "Whether you have 30 minutes or a full hour, if you commit to a 15-minute walk each day, you'll be more likely to pack a healthy lunch to ensure you have the time to get in a little energizing calorie burn," Katie explained. Plus, it will allow you to disconnect and refresh before jumping back into work for the day.
- Take minibreaks throughout the day. "Schedule the last two minutes of each hour as your 'hourly stretch.' Get up and walk around to get your steps in, plus your blood circulating and body moving regularly," Katie said.
- Miss your stop — on purpose. "If you take public transit, get off one or two stops earlier than your usual stop," Kat suggested. "This can help you discover neighborhood gems that you may have missed, make you more comfortable navigating to your destination, and give you tons of extra steps." She added, "I just did this and found a great new coffee joint I'd been missing."
- Be strategic at the grocery store. "When you're grocery shopping, if you have time, try to slow down and take an extra lap down another aisle. I try to shop the entire perimeter of the store first and then the middle aisles," Kat said. "If the line is huge, I'll take an extra lap around rather than just stand there waiting. Half the time, the line is down by the time my lap is done."
- Do reverse lunges while you cook. "Instead of just standing around waiting for the water to boil, try adding in three to four sets of 20 alternating reverse lunges. It's a great way to lift and tone your booty, strengthen your hamstrings, and get in your steps," Katie told POPSUGAR. She added that you might also try marching in place.
- Stay busy by walking around your home. Kat often sets a timer for five to 10 minutes and commits to doing tasks around the house until it expires. "This is also a great time to call your mom or best friend and stay standing or walking around during the call," she said.