If you’re living in a walkable city, it’s pretty easy to get 10,000 steps a day, but for those of us driving our cars around, staying active can require some creativity! We tend to be busy, too tired, too out of shape, or even just too sore, at the end of the day to add in that extra bit of exercise, and honestly, it’s always easier to plop ourselves down on the couch! So what tiny steps can we take to stay active?
Let’s start with these 7 simple strategies that will help you to get moving a little more each day:
01 Take the stairs!
If you’re headed to the second floor or higher, you can always choose the stairs over the elevator and walk at least part of the way up. At Pack Health, we work on the first floor of our building, so one of our co-workers made a rule with herself: unless she really and truly needs to rush to get to a meeting, she only uses the bathroom on the second floor, and always takes the stairs! This is a simple way to guarantee she’ll make the climb at least a few times a day.
02 Lean into your daily chores!
Another Pack Health employee incorporates squats into the task of loading and unloading her dishwasher, and even admits to shaking her groove thing while brushing her teeth! One of our members works in extra steps by parking as far away from the entrance as possible on his daily trips to the grocery store. Take the time to chop your own vegetables instead of buying a pre-cut mix. Do a few lifts with the laundry basket as you’re walking to and from the washing machine. These little activities to get your blood flowing, and keep you moving a little extra throughout the day.
03 Call a friend!
Walking is a great time for talking. Invite a friend to join you on a nature trail, or bring your cell phone along when you’re walking around the block. Invest in some earbuds with a microphone so you can walk freely without having to hold your phone to your ear! Who knew an afternoon walk could also be the perfect time to reconnect with those you love!?
04 Earn your TV time with exercise!
The average American watches 5 hours of television a day. That’s a lot of time spent sitting on the couch! Now, what if you got up and danced around, or practiced your yoga moves, or did a few jumping jacks, every time there was a commercial break?
05 Join a gym!
Do you hate wasting money? If so, this may be the strategy for you. If you’re paying for a gym membership, you’ve gotta get in there. Many gyms also make it easier to get in the groove, with group exercise classes and TVs that you can watch while you work out. Start with a beginner class or walking on a treadmill, and work your way up. Taking a beginner class is also a great way to make friends, who can hold you accountable for showing up!
06 Make a trigger!
Whether it’s needing to use the restroom, unloading a dishwasher, or a commercial break, activities you’re inevitably going to experience during your day can be great reminders that trigger you to move on a more regular basis. What do you do on a daily basis? What exercise could you incorporate into that activity?
07 Figure out what activities you enjoy!
The point of these tiny steps is to make exercise easier, and (surprise!) the easiest exercises are usually the ones you enjoy. Explore all your options and know that it is okay if you try something and decide you don’t like it. There are so many different ways to get your body into motion, so give yourself the space to discover what works for you.
There you have it! 7 ways you can start taking tiny steps to add more exercise to your day. We challenge you, right now, to jot down 3 things that might have sparked your interest when reading through this post! As always, we’d love to hear what works best for you. Share your strategies on social media with #TinyStepsGreatStrides!