Step counters. Do they really motivate people to get more exercise? To be more active throughout the day? To compete with others? If you are me, then the answer to these questions is yes.
At the beginning of April when my order for a step counter finally arrived. I took it out of the package and got it all setup and started using it to count my steps. The step counter I bought was the Striiv Pedometer from Woot.com at a great low price for a brand new device.
The thing about Striiv is that they make it fun getting steps through challenges and games.
I’ve wanted to get something to track my progress as I started eating clean back in September of 2014. I’ve been doing a lot of research on devices and had my mind set on the Microsoft Band. I purchased 2 Striiv devices since they were so inexpensive and gave them to my younger sisters and I bought a Microsoft Band.
Now this is where the ‘real’ story begins…
A person doesn’t really realize how many steps or just truly how far they travel throughout the day till they get a device which shows them how far they’ve gone by daily walking. It eventually leads to; “What can I do to get even more steps in throughout the day?”
Park further away.
Park as far away as you can wherever you go. Park down the street when visiting a friend. Park at the far end of the parking lot when going to the store. At work I use to park as close I could to take the least amount of steps. Since getting the device I now park farther away. True, it now takes me about 2 to 4 minutes to walk to the building I work in, but it adds up: Walking round trip is about a quarter mile.
Take a 10 – 20 minute walk after eating lunch.
I started walking after eating lunch about few weeks back. At first I started walking to the car and back, but felt this was not long enough so I started going further down the road, 5 minutes out then 5 minutes back. Another person found out what I was doing and started joining me for the ‘after lunch walk’. Now it looks like another co-worker will be joining us on the walk. The last walk we went on was 0.7 miles shy of walking a full mile.
Walk 3 – 5 minutes every hour.
If you work at a desk, play video games, anything where you sit and are still; get up and walk around for 3 to 5 minutes every hour. Doing this will increase your blood flow.
If you’re reading a book for example, get up every 30 minutes (or every 5 pages, an easy way to keep track) to take a 1 – 3 minute walk. Sure you can take the book with you as you walk and read, but be sure to not ‘crash’ into anything and avoid staircases! I do know how involved one can get while reading. Make it a habit to get up when you reach pages 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and so on.
Walk in the morning and/or Walk at night.
When you get up in the morning and after doing your morning things, go for a 30 minute walk or longer. This is a great way to start out the day. If you are not a morning person go for a 30 minute walk each night. I personally don’t walk as aggressively on Sunday’s, but take a nice stroll around the park, neighborhood or wherever I may be on a Sunday evening.
For every hour of TV watched go take a 6 minute walk.
Morning or evening walks do not count towards TV time.
Are you a person that watches a lot of TV? Start walking! This can go two ways… If you walk in the morning the first 30 minutes are for you only, they cannot be traded in for TV time. You can however walk another 12 minutes for every 2 hours of viewing time. Or you can keep track of your TV time and then go walk the extra time in the next morning or evening.
My recommendation is that if you record your shows to a DVR go for a walk every 30 minutes. This breaks down to; every 10 minutes viewed on the tube equals 1 minute of exercise time.
Get a step counter.
To be motivated go get a step counter! I can tell you if you have a step counter and actively use it you will want to make the effort to see how many steps you can take each and every day. Start sharing with others what you are doing so you can always keep motivated. Keep a track record for yourself to motivate yourself. Push yourself daily to improve on this number. Make it a game so you don’t get tired of it over time. You know yourself best, so ask yourself what would help you keep you engaged a month from now or even 6 months from now?
Encourage others to go walk with you. Walking with a buddy is a great way to motivate each other to go a minute longer or a little faster. Talking with them also distracts you from thinking about the walk and you may end up going longer if not on a time crunch.
I am sure you are able to think of other ways to improve taking steps throughout the day. If you feel like sharing those ideas please leave a message below. If I get people sending me things I may create a page dedicated to this topic.
Go get stepping!