It can be hard to get motivated to get your 10,000 steps in per day, especially during lockdown when many have been furloughed from work and restricted to less time outside of our homes. 10,000 steps a day is generally recommended for adults, take a look here if you would like to read briefly about why 10,000 is the magic number: Fitbit blog on 10,000 steps.
Here are my top five tips for getting those steps in:
1. Find different routes
Thinking up a few different routes can help motivate you to keep going during a walk, stimulate your mind by looking at new scenery and just adds a bit of variety during the week. If you have been going to the same local park for your walk throughout lockdown, try going a little further if you can and to pop to another park, reservoir or nature reserve. Check out www.alltrails.com for outdoor routes in your area!
2. Get a Fitbit or a fitness app
I have a Fitbit Flex 2, which I actually won in a work Christmas raffle, it counts the number of steps I do per day. It also tracks how much sleep I get and you can track your water and food intake, amongst other things. I find the steps the most useful to look at, just to compare day to day, week to week etc how many steps I am doing. Many phones also track your steps I believe, if you don’t want to or can’t get a Fitbit (or equivalent fitness tracker). I also use a fitness app called Strava which a number of my friends also use, this lets you track exercise, mainly walking, running and cycling, you can share your routes and times with friends.
3. Walk before you run
Test out different ways of getting your steps in, running, jogging or walking are all great – why not try a combination of all three. My sister is currently doing the NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ challenge and she is really enjoying it. Doing what it says on the tin, it gets you from doing no running to running 5km (3 miles) in 9 weeks with a steady programme building up your running stamina.
4. Set yourself different targets
If 10,000 seems like a huge ‘step up’ from your usual amount of steps (believe me, there have been days during lockdown where I have barely scraped 2,000), set yourself a manageable target. Maybe start with 7,500 per day, I have found that if I go on a 5km walk, I do around 7,500 steps. Try doing this and then you may find that the other steps you do during the day, just generally around the house and making your meals, this might get you up to 10,000. If not, don’t worry! Everyone is different, there might be other forms of exercise such as yoga or aerobic workouts that fit better with your lifestyle, schedule or needs.
5. Give yourself a day off
It’s okay to have days off! I tend to set myself fitness targets during the week and then let myself have the weekends off. This has helped during lockdown, as I have been furloughed for several months, to make the weekends a bit different. Get your favourite takeaway, have a drink and let yourself relax. For others that work during the week you might prefer to exercise more at weekends. Get into a healthy routine that works for you – just make sure you’re being kind and looking after yourself!