Given I don’t own a car (and I tend not to ride my bike after a few too many incidents with cars) I tend to get pretty close to my 10,000 steps every day, but there are always ways I can add extra walking into my day. Today I wanted to share a few small changes we can all make which will increase your incidental walking, and help us all stay that little bit healthier!
I don’t know about you, but now that the sun is starting to shine a little more and it is staying light later I’m finding myself wanting to be outside more which is definitely a good thing for my step count! So here we go, my top 7 tips!
1. Have Walking Meetings
Okay, so when I say walking meetings that probably makes some of you think of the ol’ hallway-walking meetings from the West Wing, but hear me out! A few months ago my team moved into a new office just down the road from our old office, however one of the colleagues I work closely with in another team didn’t move over with us. So, now whenever we need to meet to talk something over or problem solve an issue we meet on the corner between our offices and go for a walk around the park and have our discussions at the same time (weather permitting of course!). It’s a really effective way to meet as it gets us out in the fresh air, clears our heads and gets our blood flowing a little which tends to make us more productive as well. It’s definitely worth trying out, I promise!
2. Park Further From Your Destination
This tip has multiple benefits! Parking further from work, the supermarket, shops or anywhere else you are heading tends to make it easier to find a park as people generally circle near the entrance, fighting over the parks that appear there, which actually often helps you find a park faster. It also forces you to walk that little extra distance each way which might not seem like much, but it can really add up if you do it every day, especially if you spend much of your day driving between places!
3. Take the Stairs
Now I know this is an obvious one, but it’s definitely important so it’s worth repeating! Whenever you possibly can forgo the elevator and climb those stairs! For a few weeks the stairs in my building were out of action (weird, I know!) and I had to take the slow, clunky lift the two floors to our office instead and my step count suffered dramatically – not to mention the flights of stairs count on my fitbit! Taking the stairs not only adds incidental walking to your day but if you climb them fast enough it generally gets your heart pumping a little too, which is definitely a good thing!
4. Walk to Your Colleagues
I don’t know about your office, but I know at mine that often I find myself sending multiple emails back and forth with colleagues about things that would be figured out a whole lot faster if we just spoke to each other face-to-face. So, now I try and go with that as my first option and I hop up from my desk and walk over to discuss whatever it is which tends to not only save me time in the long run, but gets some incidental walking in there as well! Everyone wins!
5. Catch Up With Friends Over a Walk
Now that the weather is getting nicer I’m trying to take advantage of that by having catchups with my friends over a takeaway coffee (in a reusable cup of course!) and a walk, rather than sitting in a cafe to chat. I still get a delicious coffee and an excellent chat, but there’s some sneaky added steps in there as well, which I tend not to notice thanks to all the chatting and laughing! Of course you can always skip the coffee element if you’d like, the walking catchup works equally well without it!
6. Walk to the Shops
Data shows that around 40% of all trips under 2km in Melbourne are done by car, and many of these trips include heading to the shops or a local cafe. I’ve shared tips on how I do my shopping without a car before, but in general it’s worth thinking about some of the short trips you do and whether you can leave the car at home for some of them. Not only does it add a nice boost to your step count for the day but it also stops you from buying things you don’t need, as you’ll just have to carry them home!
7. Get Off the Train Early
This one might not work for everyone, depending on where you live, but hopping off your train, bus or tram a stop (or even two!) early and walk the rest of the way home or to work is an excellent way to increase your incidental walking. The short walk can also help clear your head, putting you in a better frame of mind when you arrive at work or at home which is always a plus!