Struggling to find the time to get your steps up? We show you how you can easily pack more into your day to meet your goals!
If we told you that we’d discovered a no-sweat workout that can enhance your fitness levels and boost your wellbeing, all while being seamlessly integrated into your daily routine, you’d be interested, right? Walking is one of the most accessible types of exercises out there – it’s free, you don’t need any equipment and it’s simple to find ways to add it to your day. Plus, studies show that just 20 minutes of walking can lower your chances of developing depression, but it can also reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your memory. However, the average person only manages around 4,000 steps daily, which is why we’ve put together this plan to help you do more with minimal effort involved – let’s go!
When your alarm goes off… 500 steps
You’d be surprised at how many steps you can get in before you even leave the house in the morning. Walking to the bathroom to shower, back to the bedroom to get dressed and then down to the kitchen for breakfast – it all adds up. Just ensure that you’re making every second count while you’re getting ready for the day – there’s a lot to be said for pacing on the spot while you brush your teeth, or while the kettle is boiling
While you’re on-the-go… 2,000 steps
We get that the commute is quite possibly one of the dullest drudgeries of modern-day life and that you’d do almost anything to eradicate its existence, but a few interjected steps could actually make it more bearable, trust us! Try getting off the tube or the bus a few stops earlier, or parking a little further afield so that you can slot in a 20-minute walk every morning. Extra brownie points for doing it with a mindful outlook: notice the sound of the breeze, the colour of the leaves around you and the smell of the rain. Got a school run to fit into your morning routine? Even better! Apply the same tactic and you’ll be improving your health and your child’s, too. Offer to carry their school bags and you’ve even got yourself a weighted workout! Still having doubts? Just know that there’s no better form of exercise than that with a purpose. Think about it: even if you’re tired, bored or simply not feeling it, you can’t stop till you get there, so it’s a fail-proof method of getting active during the day. You’re welcome!
During your break time… 4,000 steps
Be honest, how do you tend to spend your lunch breaks? If you’re anything like us, you’re probably used to devouring a salad at your desk, with one hand on the keyboard. However, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your health, wellbeing and even your productivity. Yes, you read that correctly! Working through the hour may seem like a good way to tackle your to-do list, but studies show that it can actually reduce your productivity by up to 20 percent.
Nevertheless, a staggering 70 percent of British workers admit to skipping their lunch hour on a daily basis. Break the routine by leaving your chair and getting outside for those 60 minutes instead. A brisk walk can do wonders for your mindset as well as your waistline, but just be sure to keep up the pace. Why not use this time to catch up on your favourite podcasts?
After work… 2,000 steps
When 5pm hits, it’s all too easy to grab your work pals and head down to your nearest local pub or bar to relax after a busy day, but why not walk a little further and try somewhere new? Better yet, try a few places. Stick to one drink per location with a 10-minute walk in between each one and happy hour can easily turn into your new favourite fitness session! We recommend fruit juice or sparkling water for ultimate slimming benefits, but if you can’t resist having just one, opt for a clear spirit with a low-sugar mixer such as a vodka, soda and fresh lime (just a single, mind!).
When you’re heading home… 2,000 steps
Another great thing about ditching transport 20 minutes from work? You also have to walk 20 minutes to get back. Use this time to reflect on what you’ve done that day and make goals (these can be both personal and career-based) for the upcoming week.
In the evening… 1,000 steps
Even when the day is over, you can still keep on burning calories rather than slump on the sofa – it’s all about your approach. Instead of performing a balancing act worthy of a circus when trying to carry your dinner plate, salad bowl and drink to your dining area, make multiple trips; when you need to use the bathroom, take the stairs rather than using the cloakroom; and if you need to talk to your children or your significant other, go to them instead of hollering at the top of your lungs from another room!
Total steps: 11,500
Our favourite fitness trackers
Keep an eye on your step count without any hassle thanks to these top gadgets
1. Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch in Petal/Copper Rose, £199.99, fitbit.com
2. Withings Pulse HR, £89.95, withings.com
3. Bellabeat Chakra Fitness Activity Tracker in Pink/Grey, £129, johnlewis.com