New Year’s Resolution: 5 Hacks to Meet 10,000 Steps a Day Goal
It’s official! You’re the proud owner of shiny new fitness tracker as part of your New Year’s Resolution to walk 10,000 steps a day. Sure, you can hit that number when it’s gym day, but it can be a bit more difficult on your off days. This hurdle can be overcome by making a few little changes in your daily routine.
Why are 10,000 steps the magic number? Turns out the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have endorsed this number to help keep you fit and active enough to fight off many diseases and potential health risks. You don't have to act like a robot and hit this goal all at once every day. However, once you find you’ve reached your goal regularly, it becomes a habit.
Here are a few ideas to help make small changes and help you get those steps in:
- Take the stairs - Once you step into your office building, or any building, don’t make a dash for that closing elevator door. Head straight for the stairs and use them when leave as well. Who knows, you may even get out the building faster.
- Take a break - Don’t just sit at your desk, or anywhere else, all day. It is healthy to take breaks from sitting at your desk all day, so make sure to take a break and walk a few laps around the building or your office floor to rack up some steps and get that blood flowing. A little “walking” break can make a tremendous difference.
- Manageable walks - Hitting that 10,000-step goal is a difficult task if you are not used to it. Break it up into smaller chunks and you may find the task a little less daunting. Set small goals throughout the day like 2,000 steps before work, 2,000 late morning, 2,000 during a lunch walk, 2,000 late afternoon and 2,000 in the evening during a walk. This could make hitting your goal much easier, especially because we enjoy a temperate climate year-round.
- Don’t rush it - Your new fitness tracker is flashing, beeping or buzzing to remind you it’s time to get moving to hit your 10,000 steps. If you are new to a fitness routine and just beginning your journey toward a healthier lifestyle, aim for 2,500 to 5,000 steps a day as more appropriate goal. Anything more than what you are currently doing will be beneficial in the long run. Once you’ve regularly hit your goal, increase to 2,000 steps more, and then 2,000 more, until you are at 10,000.
- Remind yourself why you’re doing this - You’re comfortable on the couch can’t rally motivation to move. When those days occur and the self-debating starts, remind yourself of your goals. Ask yourself; why am I trying to be more physically active? The connection to a bigger goal, whether you’re trying to be healthy, improve your quality of life, or trying to be a positive role model for your children can be a powerfully motivating.
As residents of Southern California, we have walking weather all year round, so grab your sneakers (and your spouse, friend, children, dog…) and take advantage of our wonderful weather to meet your 2020 healthy resolutions.