This January I have taken on the “Party Hard, Train Harder” challenge from Teenage Cancer Trust, and set myself the target of doing 10,000 steps a day. It’s talked about a lot as a good goal to have for a healthy lifestyle so I figured it would be the first step on a journey to losing a bit of weight and fitting back into my wedding dress (a goal I have before my 10th Wedding Anniversary!!).
Before I started tracking and thinking about this I would have a few days where I would reach 10,000 steps – mostly the days I walked my son to school. Other days I would struggle to get up past 3,000 steps – these were the days I was working from home all day and doing not much else – and my average daily step count was probably more like 5-6,000.
I am now at the end of my second week of the challenge, and although I haven’t reached 10,000 steps every day (some would call me a failure) I have massively increased my daily step count. There hasn’t been a day where I have done less than 7,000 steps, and those days have been rare. My first week’s total was around 71,000 so my average was over 10,000 steps a day (yey!!).
If you, like me, want to take a first step on a training journey but aren’t ready to become a serious runner or anything (you know work and kids get in the way….), then here are some of my tips for getting in more steps:
- Walk whilst you are brushing your teeth – seriously. This is dead time otherwise, and if you have an electric toothbrush that times your teethbrushing then that is 2 minutes of pacing up and down that could add a few hundred steps to your total.
- Go to the bathroom on a different floor – OK so maybe it’s just me that lives in a three storey town house with a toilet on every floor, but rather than going to the nearest one, why not actively choose to go to the toilet that is furthest away. Or if you work in an office building, go to the furthest bathroom on your break.
- Walk whilst your kids are eating or watching TV – I eat my dinner after the kids are in bed, so normally during their tea time I am sat doing nothing or playing on my phone. Now I am actively choosing to be up walking around whilst they are eating and watching TV.
- Walking whilst working – I work from home, so I’m often just sat at my desk on my computer. Now I am trying to think what tasks I could do whilst walking. Could you do phone calls whilst walking up and down the stairs? Or thinking tasks maybe?
- Try to take one big trip out every day – I always think about trying to do one bit walk out everyday. Whether that is to take the kids to school (my son’s school is 1.1 miles away so I clock up a good 6000 steps going there and back) or a walk down the canal in my lunch break, the only way I can reach a good total is to be out for half an hour or longer every day.
- Park a bit further away – This one sounds really simple, but how many of naturally just park in the closest space. Why not park a couple of roads down when doing the school run and walk an extra bit. Or park in the far corner of the car park at the supermarket. All those extra steps will add up and get you closer to your total!
- Give yourself some fun weekly challenges – if you like taking photos or just a bit of a game, then each week set yourself a challenge that will encourage you to get out walking. Maybe its to find the muddiest path, or the highest mountain. You could write them on slips of paper, put them in a box and let your kids pick on each week. That way you’re all enjoying getting out walking more!
Don’t forget to pop over to my justgiving page and leave a little donation towards my fundraising goal!