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5 tips for sneaking in more steps

We’ve all heard the numerous benefits of walking more. Whether you’re focused on improving your health or just trying to move a little more, an easy place to start is setting a daily steps goal. The top fitness tracking devices, like Apple Watch or Fitbit, recommend that you set a daily goal of 10,000 steps per day, but people are busy, and actually hitting this goal can be challenging. So, we’ve accumulated 5 easy tips for sneaking more steps into your daily life.

1. Lean on your step tracker

Regularly using a step tracker can help you stay accountable. The first thing to do when setting goals is to make sure they are easily measurable. A new habit, like taking 10,000 steps a day, may be difficult at first. So, start small. For example, begin with a daily average of 2,000 steps. Aim for 4,000 steps each day the next week, 7,000 the week after that, and 10,000 from there.

Self-conquest is the greatest victory. Creating a plan to achieve your desired goal is the first step to success!

2. Set a reminder to remind yourself to move.

A chaotic day will cause you to forget your walking goals. Try setting an alarm on your phone every 1 or 2 hours to remind yourself to get up and move around every time it goes off. Another idea is to stand up whenever you take a phone call, or even better, step in place.

If you need to use the bathroom or water fountain, pick one that’s either on a different floor or further away from you. Even if you can’t find the time to leave your desk, you can still stand up, march in place, and stretch your arms overhead. Then, when you sum up the entire day, you’ll find yourself much closer to your goal!

3. Find things to do while walking

Walking may seem dull, especially when walking alone. Finding entertaining activities to do while walking will make your journey more enjoyable. Try listening to music or a podcast, taking pictures along the way, walking a dog, or finding a pal to stroll with.

You can also try incorporating walking into your daily commute or try walking in between your weekend errands. Walking may seem to take more time, but it adds movement to your day as well as other worthy health benefits (like helping reduce the incidence of heart disease).

4. Simply take the stairs

Now, not everyone will want to walk up eight flights of stairs every day to reach their office, classroom, or apartment. However, for the lucky few who maybe live on the second floor or only have to take four flights of stairs you should definitely give it a try. Not only will it keep you on your toes (literally) but you’ll feel a little more accomplished. Plus, it might even be faster than the elevator!

5. Park in a farther spot in the parking lot

Most of us instinctively try to find a parking spot closest to the front of the entrance of the building. People even spend minutes trying to find a better spot just to shave off a measly couple extra seconds of walking. Try parking in spots that are further away! Not only will you get extra steps in, but it will also help free up parking spots closer to the front which helps out those who may need it.

Bottom line.

You don’t need to schedule long walks in order to move more. There are lots of little things you can do throughout the day that will add up to big step counts. Though 10,000 steps a day can be a good benchmark for most folks, you can still see benefits from less. Whatever your goal, remember: every step matters. Happy trails!

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I've used the last tip before to get a lot more steps in during the day when I don't have as much time on my hands. Last semester, I actually parked about a mile away from campus past Fairview. It was really just for the free parking, but the main benefit was that I was able to still get exercise in even when I was really busy with school.

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