Are you looking for easy everyday ways to increase your step count to 10,000 steps and beyond? Well, step right up!
You've been putting in the hard yards and making as much use of your free time to reach 10,000 steps, but with work, family and household commitments, and about 16 waking hours a day to fit it all in, there is literally no time left to take an extra step! You've hit the hurdle that every walker faces: the pedometer plateau. Your pedometer count has stalled – but don't despair just yet. The secret to conquering the pedometer plateau and reach 10,000 steps can be found in sneaking in a few simple exercises that will get the pedometer ticking over again, without imposing on your commitments.
Did you know the average hour-long American television show includes 18 minutes of advertisements? That’s 30% of your viewing time. Instead of sitting through promos for steak knives and ab crunchers, see how many steps you can take around the house and garden before the show resumes. For added benefit, make it a family challenge and chart who can get the most pedometer power out of the ad breaks. Be prepared to see approximately 1,260 to 1,800 steps added to your pedometer per hour-long show.
Increase your kettle mettle
The modern-day kettle can boil 1 litre of water in approximately 3 minutes. They say a watched kettle never boils, so why not take the dog out for a quick walk around the block while the pot is heating up? It's time just waiting to be used effectively, and just three minutes can increase your pedometer reading by 210 to 300 steps.
Step up the garden path
These days, watering cans can be most often found in garage sales and derelict sheds. They are the granny of a watering system world gone hi-tech. However, the truth is that no modern sprinkler/dripper/irrigation system tones, strengthens and burns calories like the humble watering can. So put down the hose and invest in a can. Making multiple trips to refill it from the tap to cover each part of the garden is a sure-fire pedometer booster. Just 20 minutes of watering can add an extra 1,000 steps to your pedometer count. It also reduces water wastage, cuts your bills and builds upper body strength. The watering can may be the granny but it is the granny with the secret to biceps of steel.
Rethink your commute
In the morning, many office workers are waking up from an 8-hour lie down and preparing themselves for an 8-hour sit down. If your job involves little physical activity, you need to be particularly resourceful with the time you have in between. If you drive to work, commit yourself to taking the stairs each time you enter and leave the building. If you catch the bus or train, get off one stop earlier to give your legs some much-needed exercise. Instead of making yourself a coffee at work, walk to that little, out-of-the-way cafe. Oxygenating the muscles increases circulation and mental alertness and kickstarts your metabolism.
Try to set mini-time and step goals throughout the day. For example, take a five minute walk before lunch. Walk around the office block before and after work. Walk to colleagues' desks and talk to them face-to-face rather than shooting them an e-mail from across the room. This not only increases your pedometer count but is good for building strong working relationships with colleagues and networking.
Give up the rockstar car park
We all love a rockstar carpark – the one directly outside our destination. There's a certain sense of satisfaction in beating everyone else to it. However, parking right outside can cut up to 200 steps off your daily pedometer reading. It's time to give someone else their 15 minutes of parking fame.
Don't go off your trolley
Shopping trolleys are handy things. They deliver groceries to your car with minimal effort. You then push them aside and, as if by magic, a pimply teenage 'trolley wrangler' will collect and return them, guiding the ones with dodgy wheels with all the grace of a dodgem-car driver. However, we're putting out a call to return the trolley yourself. With such a simple gesture you can add 100 steps or more to your daily count and take a little load off an innocent adolescent.
When you get your groceries home, don't succumb to that niggling, irresistible challenge of 'How many grocery bags can I get inside in one trip?' Take the bags in one bag at a time. This will increase your step count up to 10 fold, save you from straining your back and help you fit through the door without sucking in and turning sideways!
Download the pdf version of this article - A step in the right direction to 10000 steps
10,000 Steps Australia is a pedometer workplace challenge that is uniquely on demand and customizable. Our walking experts have combined intelligent design with up-to-the-minute technology to create an interactive step challenge that inspires employees to be active, and provides coordinators with a turnkey solution to running a successful corporate wellness program. If your organisation is interested in taking up the challenge, contact us for a live demo.