Think you're doing enough to stay healthy? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults walk 10,000 steps each day to maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. But how do you know if you're meeting this goal?
The average Indian takes just 5,117 steps per day, well below the CDC recommended 10,000 steps per day. As a result, they don't get enough physical activity each day, and studies have shown that this can lead to weight gain and health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Walking is one of the best ways to combat the health effects of sitting all day at work, and by incorporating these 8 tips into your daily routine, you can increase your step count and be healthier overall!
If you're looking to get your step count up, consider these 8 tips for boosting your step count and start walking more today!
Activities to boost steps
Activities such as walking, running, and even cycling can boost your daily step count. While walking around your neighborhood, take different routes to keep things fresh. By varying your routine, you'll burn more calories than by taking familiar routes repeatedly. Join up for a run or cycle ride if you have a friend who wants to get fit but struggles with boredom. Many people find motivation in camaraderie!
8 tips to boost your step counts
1) Setting reminders and goals
Setting reminders and goals for your step count helps you keep track of how many steps you've taken over a given period. To boost your daily step count, try setting reminders on your phone or computer—and linking these reminders to a chart that keeps track of all your daily step counts, which will show you how much progress you're making toward reaching your goal!
2) Wear a pedometer or use
You can also boost step count by wearing a pedometer. They're inexpensive and straightforward to use—just clip them on your waistband, and you'll start counting your steps with each step. Many people find they increase their daily count by at least 2,000 simply by wearing a pedometer. Plus, if you wear one long enough, you might be surprised at how much information it reveals about your daily habits.
3) Set realistic goals
Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but you'll feel demotivated if you set unrealistic step-count goals and don't meet them. The solution? Make sure your step-count goal is realistic for your lifestyle. You can do that by setting small daily or weekly steps-per-day goals that align with how much walking you already do on an average day.
For example, if you usually walk about 5,000 steps per day—and want to increase that number by 1,000 steps—set a goal of walking 6,000 steps per day instead of 7,000. That will help ensure your new goal feels achievable—and won't lead to discouragement when it seems too difficult at first.
4) Reward yourself
If you have an activity tracker, consider rewarding yourself for every goal you hit. For example, if your goal is 10,000 steps per day and you achieve it, give yourself an hour of whatever vice you desire (aka your favourite dish or Netflix). You could also reward reaching your daily step count by sleeping in an extra 15 minutes or treating yourself to a lunch out with friends. It doesn't matter what motivates you as long as it works.
5) Workout with friends
A great way to increase your daily step count is by walking with a friend. If you're more into running, there are plenty of great options. Many trackers come with a feature that allows you to challenge friends and compare step counts in real-time. So even if you don't have a specific goal in mind, it can be fun to see who gets more steps each day. You can even find a plethora of workouts on Wellness TV. Do try them with your friends.
6) Keep it fun
Keeping your step count fun and interesting is one of the best ways to ensure you stick with it. Try wearing a pedometer (or just downloading a step-counting app like The Wellness Corner) and make sure that you challenge yourself each day, whether that means increasing your daily steps or simply keeping track of how many steps you do on any given day.
Steps don't have to be boring - One way to keep your step count from getting too monotonous is by incorporating variety into your exercise routine. If walking isn't doing it for you anymore, try jogging instead; if running isn't cutting it either, mix in some swimming or biking.
7) Focus on the result
It's easy to want or desire a number on a screen, but it's also important not to lose sight of why you're counting steps in the first place. It doesn't matter if you walk one step more than your daily goal or 10000 or more. The most important thing is that you are making progress toward your end goal, whether weight loss, improved fitness, or something else. Be proud of yourself for taking that extra lap around your office building.
8) Play games that involve walking
Physical games, like football or Cricket, encourage exercise because they require a lot of running and active movement. Even if you're an adult and don't want to be it, these games are still a fun way to stay active with friends and family. You can even use the step tracker app so you can track your steps while you play.
As a general rule, if you want to boost your step count, you need to get more movement into your daily routine. The first thing you need is a step tracker—and there are many out there—then pick two of these 8 tips and put them into action! You'll be logging lots of steps each day in no time at all. And that's a great place to start boosting your health one small step at a time.