How much do you walk each day? How much do you think our ancestors walked each day?
Our ancestors did not sit in front of a computer monitor all day, and then go home to sit in front of the TV. Our ancestors walked to find food and water. Even our grandparents, had jobs and lives that required them to get up and move. As time goes on, inventions like garage door openers, drive up windows, and remote controls continue to make us more sedentary. More and more researchers are coming to the conclusion that sitting too much is more dangerous that smoking, and I agree!
Since life has become so easy, we need to pay attention to keep moving throughout the day. To help you get moving, here are my top 10 tips to add more steps to your daily life!
- Walk and talk- If you are meeting up with a friend, try meeting them for a walk instead of meeting for coffee or a meal! It is amazing how quickly the time passes and how much ground you can cover while engaging in a good conversation (and it’s free!). Have a phone call to make? Pace as you talk on the phone.
- Lunchtime walk- This one is all about habits! Form a habit of walking each day during your lunch break! If you bring your lunch to work there should be some time to get a walk in (and your food will likely be healthier as well!) Get your coworkers involved to make it more fun and hold you accountable!
- Park Further away- I know you have heard this one before- but do you actually do it? I can’t tell you how often I see cars circling parking lots multiple times to find that close spot! There are always spots open in the back of the lot- and you are less likely to have your car dinged by someone’s door or shopping cart!
- Find an indoor spot to walk- Let’s face it- in Chicago there will be bad weather days. Rather than let the weather de-rail your walking, plan an another option for bad weather days. When the bad weather comes, you'll know where to go. Consider a local track or shopping mall!
- Walk more at work- Instead of emailing coworkers, go walk to their desk. Instead of having mail dropped off, go pick it up. Take breaks to walk and go fill up your water bottle. When traveling between floors, use stairs instead of the elevator.
- Try an after dinner walk- Again- this one is about habits. Make a nightly after dinner walk a family ritual! This should be much easier now that it is staying light outside later in the evenings!
- Walk while waiting for carpool duty- If you are picking a child up from school or an activity, instead of waiting in the endless carpool pick up line, park your car, get out, and walk around! Walk you kids to school rather than driving them.
- Use the mile rule- If a destination is less than a mile away, just walk instead of taking your car! While this might not always be convenient, think about the places where you typically go, and of there are any that you could walk to instead of driving. For me, my house isn't convenient to walk anywhere, but from my office I can walk to the post office and the bank if I have a few spare minutes.
- Use a pedometer, pedometer phone app, or fit bit type of device. I noticed that my phone has an app on in that records my steps. Looking at this randomly can be very motivating. If I see that my total is low for the day, it makes me want to get up and get moving! Make it a point to look at your steps at regularly through the day and make some step goals. This can be addictive, and motivate you to get take more steps each day.
- Find a buddy that will commit to walk with you on a regular schedule. You won't let your friend down, and before you know it, you will walk automatically. Make it a habit to walk at a particular time each day. My mom has been walking at 6 am with her neighbors every Monday-Friday for over 25 years!
Looking for a walking buddy? I am going to have my “walk with the doc” program again this summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the prairie path by the office. If you are interested in joining me, let me know what time is best for you and I can plan my schedule accordingly based on interest levels!
Pick 1 or 2 of these ideas that work for you, and try it every day this week. Let us know how it goes on our facebook page!