People are becoming more aware how movement is key for our overall health, which makes me so happy. A question I get often is "how many steps should I aim for per day?" Let's dive into this! You might have heard 10 000 steps a day is the goal to aim for but i'm here to tell you it really depends on the individual!
Contrary to popular belief, this number is arbitrary and the 10k target actually comes from a Japanese marketing campaign from 1965 to sell a pedometer to track steps!
This marketing I can get on board with since getting people moving more is a great thing. Research shows anywhere from 7500 steps to 10 000 steps a day decreases all cause risk of mortality by 60-70% so I suggest most people aim to get within that range. 5000 or less steps is considered sedentary and associated with negative health markers.
The time an individual has to walk in a day must get taken into account as well so I always meet my clients where they are at now and look to make small improvements over time. I made an instagram post showing how I increased my movement without adding any additional time to my day.
Any increase in your movement from where you are now is beneficial so challenge yourself this week! Aim to get an additional 2000 steps then you are currently averaging per day. This would take you around 20 mins to do and using these tips, can be quite easy to increase to!
Aim for a daily step goal (in this case your current baseline + 3000!)
Break your step goal into small chunks (x steps by 12pm, x steps by 3pm)
Schedule a daily walk(s) into your calendar
Park at the back of any parking lot or further from work
Always take the stairs over elevator and walk on the escalator
Walk during commercial breaks
Walk while brushing your teeth
Walk while brewing coffee or boiling water for tea
Set alarms in your phone to get up and move consistently
Walk during work zoom meetings
Pace during rest times in your workout
Plan weekly hang outs with friends around movement (coffee walks, sports, ect)
Go on walking dates
Plan a new hike every weekend
Invest in a smart watch to track steps
Use said smart watch to challenge your friends
Get a dog
Always walk instead of drive when you can
Get off bus or train one stop sooner
Do your own grocery shopping instead of online orders
Spend free time doing things that require movement (museums, malls, parks)
Walk whenever you talk on the phone
Use extra time on lunch breaks for a walk
Get a walking pad or treadmill in your office
Listen to audiobooks/podcasts while walking
Read a book while walking on the treadmill
Walk around the block right when you wake up (Bonus: getting sunlight in your eyes first thing in the morning is very beneficial for sleep and energy levels)
Walk on a treadmill or stretch while you watch your favourite Netflix show
Use follow along step videos on youtube to get in steps on the spot
Join a walking club
Join a rec league sport
Find a walking buddy
Walk after every meal (Bonus: helps to not eat as much knowing you have a walk after)
Answer emails/text messages while walking
Clean your house
Do yard work/gardening
Walk in airports
Go out dancing on the weekend
Use a standing desk (not movement exactly but better then sitting
Take the long way to refill your water, get snacks, ect
Use walking as a stress reliever to clear your head
Walk while you wait (bus, appointments, ect)
Dance in your living room
Go play outside with your kids
Draw out the time it takes to complete a task like putting each dish from the dishwasher away one at a time. Put away one item of folded cloth from the laundry pile one at a time.
Remember, you do not have to go from 5000 to 10 000 steps right away. All of these small changes would massively add up to increase your daily movement. Reap the benefits of more movement and let me know which ones you will try or tips you would add to this list in the comments!