Going to the gym or working out at home for an hour a day doesn’t make you an active person. I personally learned this lesson in 2020. I’m sure a lot of you can relate when I say that I found myself sitting at my computer a whole lot more in 2020 than I was used. Working from home has its perks, but being active and moving around isn’t one of them.
I’ve been sharing a lot about my new appreciation for walking and getting getting 10k steps in a day this year because I’ve personally learned how important it truly is. And not to mention I just really enjoy it! Setting that goal and making it happen each day is about so much more than the cardio (and it is indeed cardio). Here are just a few of the benefits of walking and setting a step count goal for yourself:
- It burns calories.
- It doesn’t cost anything other than a good pair of shoes.
- It’s a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.
- You get some vitamin D if you take it outside.
- It helps with digestion.
- It improves your well being and mood.
- It helps fight off depression.
- It improves and sparks creativity! Research says by 60%!
- It increases bone strength density because it’s a weight bearing exercise.
- It helps relieve stress and anxiety.
- It improves circulation, posture, balance, and joint mobility.
- It’s great for those with knee, ankle, or back problems.
- It’s great for your heart.
- It’s excellent for fat loss.
- It’s low impact and great for those with thyroid or other hormonal issues.
- It helps with recovery.
Walking is one of the most underrated forms of cardio. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to run or do HIIT to burn fat or see progress. I n fact, walking at a moderate intensity can get the job done just as well as running, as long as you’re expending the same amount of energy. Great news for those of us that dread going for a run!
We highly encourage all our clients to set a goal of 10,000 steps per day. This might seem like a lot to you, and you may even need to work up to it. Here are a few tips to help you get those extra steps in each day!
- Go for a walk first thing in the morning before work or starting your day.
- Park farther away when shopping, going to work, etc.
- Take your dog for walks.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Go for a walk during your lunch break.
- Find a buddy to pass the time faster.
- Walk while you wait.
- Walk while you talk on the phone.
- Get a treadmill. (Even an old used one will get the job done!)
- Find a good TV show to binge while you walk.
- Go for hikes.
- Walk after meals to help with digestion.
- Take your kids to the park and walk in circles around them.
- Make it a competition amongst friends or family.
- Find some way to be accountable.
- Break it up. 15 minutes here and there adds up!
Just like with tracking macros, it might take a few months before you really see and feel the physical benefits of walking 10k steps a day. Trust that it will make a difference in the long run and really try enjoy it! You might surprise yourself! I absolutely love exploring the outdoors and getting my steps in. Both images below are the Spring Creek trail near my parent’s home in Southern Utah. One of my favorite spots to hike when I’m there to get my steps in.
You might also like this blog post about What is NEAT and Why It’s Important.