WHY 10,000 STEPS?
10,000 steps per day is endorsed by the American Heart Association and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention as the magic number to increase your health and fitness. By taking 10,000 steps a day, you're increasing your activity level and deceasing your odds of Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, and other chronic conditions that thrive in sedentary lifestyles.
Getting in 10,000 steps per day doesn't mean that you need to run a 5K every day after work or dedicate 2 hours of your day to accomplish this feat. Actually, breaking up the 10,000 steps per day could be better for you because it increases your activity throughout the day and by making some small adjustments to your daily routine, you can easily hit your 10,000 steps no problem!
Most pedometers come pre-programmed with this goal. Even if you're not wearing a pedometer, you can estimate you daily steps by using your health app in your iPhone or Droid.
WAYS TO GET IN 10,000 STEPS PER DAY:
1) TAKE THE STAIRS, NOT THE ELEVATOR. Seriously. You'd be amazed how many steps you can get in by adding the stairs to your routine. Office buildings, doctors offices, shopping centers...Whether it's one flight or five flights, just take the stairs.
2) PARK IN THE BACK OF THE PARKING LOT. All of my friends in suburbia, I'm looking at you on this one. Park your car in the back of the parking lot and take that nice walk across the parking lot to your destination.
You can sneak in so many steps per day, just by not fighting over front row parking...Plus with the amount of time most people waste driving in circles trying to get up front parking, you'll get into your destination at the same time if not sooner if you just park in the back row instead.
Plus, there's probably plenty of other people that need that front row spot more than you.
Even if the parking lot is pretty empty, park at least 10 rows back from the entrance. The further back you park, the better.
Here's a short list of places to start parking in the back of the lot: work, grocery store, shopping malls, shopping plaza, restaurants, church, the gym (seriously), etc.
3) TAKE ACTIVE BREAKS DURING THE DAY. If you work a desk job, take active breaks during the day. Rather than working through your coffee break, get up and take a short walk with your coffee.
Go outside, walk up and down the stairwell, walk around the building. get up and move your body any way that you can.
4) BE THE FAMILY DOG WALKER. If you have a family dog, be the one to walk the pup. Walking your pup 2 or 3 times a day is a great way to hold yourself accountable (someone has to walk the dog!).
You'll easily be able to get in 2 or 3 miles a day and both you and your dog will be happier and healthier for it!
5) WALK TO PLACES WHEN YOU CAN. If you live in a major city, congratulations, you should be walking EVERYWHERE.
I live in Hoboken, NJ which is like a mini NYC. Sunshine, rain, or snow, I walk to the gym, yoga uptown and downtown, I walk to the PATH into NYC, the grocery store, the park... I walk just about everywhere I can.
If you live in a city and can do this also, DO IT! Resist the urge to Uber your ride or Seamless your food all of the time and go for a walk!
AND IF YOU LIVE IN THE SUBURBS: In most towns, there's still plenty of ways to walk when you can. Don't drive from strip plaza to strip plaza, walk across the street!
If you have sidewalks and a 7-Eleven in your neighborhood, don't get in the car, walk up the street to pick up that gallon of milk or whatever you need.
6) DESIGNATE YOUR MORNING OR EVENING WALK AS "YOUR TIME". Make it a ritual that you look forward to doing. Listen to music or a podcast that is important to you.
Walk down streets or through a park that you enjoy the scenery. Make it a special routine that you do for yourself.