Like eating breakfast, drinking water or flossing, getting your steps in for the day has become a regular part of most people’s health and fitness routines. Regular exercise is proven to be one of the best stress relievers for adults, and walking is an easy way to improve your physical health.
With built-in pedometers on smartphones, there’s nowhere to hide from a low step count staring you in the face at the end of the day, which serves as motivation to go for a walk and bump up your average.
But just how many steps do you need to rack up in a day to reap the health benefits? There’s been some debate over this question, with experts suggesting the average person should log anywhere from 4,000 to 18,000 steps a day.
Creative Ways to Boost Your Step Count
However, a happy medium of 10,000 steps a day seems to be the average recommendation, and luckily, this is an achievable goal — even if you work in a sedentary job. Here are some creative ways to boost your step count throughout the day:
1. Take Several “Mini Walks”
To increase your step count, you may feel like you need to take outrageously long walks that you just don’t have time for. On the contrary, one of the best ways to get your steps in without taking up massive chunks of your day is to try going on several “mini walks.” You could go in the morning, at lunch, after work and between meetings. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the steps add up, even if you’re only taking a short jaunt around the block. Plus, just 15 minutes of walking a day is a proven mood booster.
2. Take Longer Walks to Boost Your Step Count
On the other hand, maybe you do have ample time to take longer walks around your neighborhood. In that case, try going a little bit further each day as you take your daily walk. You could explore other neighborhoods, stroll through parks, or even go up and down the stairs in your building if you live in an apartment. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous. To help you pass the time on a longer walk, you could listen to a wellness podcast, or try walking meditations, which have numerous health benefits.
3. Try a Step-Boosting Online Workout
If the weather outside just isn’t going to cut it for a leisurely stroll in nature, try an online workout designed to help you reach your step count. YouTube has plenty of options like this 10,000 step workout, which is perfect if you’re low on space or the climate isn’t cooperating.
4. Get a Standing Desk
You’ve heard the trope “sitting is the new smoking” time and time again, and one of the best ways to spend more time on your feet is to invest in a standing desk. There are plenty of options online, but if you’re not willing to make the investment, you could always create your own makeshift standing desk using a stack of books or a box on top of a table. While you’re working, try walking on the spot to reach that step-count goal as you get stuff done. #winning.
5. Ditch the Ubers
While that convenient Uber icon on your phone may be tempting (not to mention UberEats), cutting down on your use of the app could help you up your step count. Next time you’re heading to a destination that’s within walking distance and you have some extra time, try foregoing the Uber ride in favor of using those getaway sticks instead to hit your step count and save money while you’re at it.