Don’t pull me into a real challenge and think I’m not gonna win!! Yes, I’ve been off my Fitbit game for a minute, but that’s because I was on to yoga for a hot sec (literally, hot yoga. Whew.) Some friends of mine pulled me into a real challenge this week with REAL incentives involved (losers buy dinner + drinks = I’m in)! Watch out peeps – I’m comin for ya. PS – here are a few extra Fitbit tips below that I picked up on my last Fitbit challenge this time last year (especially if you have a very sedentary job like the majority of Americans).
ANDREA’S TOP 10 FITBIT TIPS: How to get 10K Steps in a Day With a Sedentary Job
With a Fitbit, inconvenience rules. Yes, indeed it does. What do I mean by that? We’re often in such a hurry and life is moving so quickly that we take the shortest path everywhere – we park the closest, we make a B-line for the printer / coffee area, etc. We’re a society of convenience, as you well know. So how do we combat that? We start being purposefully inconvenient. Here’s 10 ways to do that.
- Know what your regular steps are on a sedentary day. If you did nothing whatsoever all day except get up, go to work and come home – no extra effort, no special errands to run, etc. – how many steps would you get? Mine fluctuates somewhere between 1,500 and 2,900. Let’s just say I get about 2,000 steps a day without really trying. How do you get 8,000 more? The first step is knowing 8,000 more is your real goal.
- 30 minutes of walking is a real step booster! It seems hard to carve out 30 minutes in any day when you’re extremely busy, however, it can be done (especially when you’re motivated). If you have your walking clothes ready in the morning, you can throw your clothes on first thing and knock out 30 minutes before you hop in the shower. Already, you can get 3,000 steps in if you’re really getting it (about a speed of 4 on a treadmill if you can swing that). If you do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes later in the evening when you get home, that’s an extra 6,000 steps. For me, that would mean I just have 2,000 more steps to go! How do you get that?
- Walk for 15 minutes at lunch. Are you fortunate enough to work somewhere where you could walk down the street and back for lunch? Or potentially park very far away at a shopping center and walk 7 minutes to get your lunch, 7-ish minutes back? That extra 15 minutes typically means about 1,500 more steps for you. Now you only have 500 more!
- Get a half-hour glass. Yes, a half-hour glass. I picked one up at one of my favorite stores (Marshall HomeGoods) and I’ll keep it at my workstation. (This is also a handy little productivity tip). Every half hour, I turn the glass over and work arduously at one specific task to knock it out. Doesn’t that feel good? Absolutely it does. When the 30 minutes is up, I’ll get up for a quick walk break. Take a lap around your area. Go get some water. Walk over to a friend’s desk and chat with them. For every walk break, try to get in at least 250 steps. Those little steps add up throughout the day! Do that 4 times at least in the work day, that’s an extra 1,000 steps (well now you would be well over 10,000 at this point, but that’s good!).
- Park far away. Yes, this one works too. Simple. Easy. Park as far away as possible from wherever you’re going and make yourself walk.
- Take the “scenic” route. If you’re in a workspace where you can easily get to a printer say within 10 steps, take the long way around. Walk all the way around the office just to get to the printer. You’ll at least pick up and extra 100 steps as opposed to 10.
- Other walk breaks: Take advantage of any nature / shaded paths nearby (of course, ones that are safe). If it’s a safe area with sidewalks and it’s not too hot (or otherwise horrible weather), use it as an excuse to take a stroll! Take your phone with you so you can do work while you’re walking – take a phone call, if you’re in marketing like me you can check your social media accounts. Read an article. Chug through some boring email. The point is, you’re moving while you’re doing it instead of being sedentary.
- Walk briskly wherever you go. Walking briskly is a brilliant way to get your heart rate up (the point of all of this anyway is physical activity). Why bother walking if you’re going to go about it like a sloth? (Sorry if you really feel like you walk like a sloth for real). Elongate your stride, pick up the pace and move! Living in Scotland for a year really taught me how to do that. You’d be amazed at the difference in the way UK’ers walk vs Americans. If you haven’t been to the UK yet, think DC or NY. Any other place that’s potentially freezing cold for a good portion of the year. That’s real motivation to move.
- Always bring some flats (ladies) or comfy shoes (gents). This one’s good for ladies in particular because in the US at least, we tend to opt for the cute heels (at least when we’re younger). Those aren’t, however, very good for our feet or for our ability to walk quickly for very long anyway. Throw some flats in a plastic bag and break them out on your walk breaks. Or just wear your heels to meetings or when you’re headed outside of the office. Otherwise, keep the flats on deck so you can move when you want to. Guys – make sure you have comfy shoes too. Sometimes your hard-bottomed shoes, though they’re flat, aren’t always the most comfy ones to keep you mobile.
- Walk by water. This is just plain soulful. It’s meditative. It’s relaxing. It’s beautiful. Who doesn’t love gazing out on a river, lake or pond? It’s another way to be purposefully inconvenient and slow us down in a way that’s good for us.
Those are my Fitbit tips to get 10,000 steps (and more). What are yours?