Too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy? If anyone gets not being able to walk outside, it's me! It's 100+ degrees more than 100 days out of the year here in Arizona, so walking outside can become a challenge rather quickly – especially if you don't want to wake up at 4 AM.
How to Get Your Steps In Inside
I started a walking challenge and wanted to make sure everyone could join in no matter where they were walking. It can be boring walking in place inside, so I had to come up with something new. Boring isn't going to work for very long and I want you to succeed at getting to 10,000 steps and beyond.
Make a Loop in Your House
As goofy as this may sound, it is actually very effective. Make a loop from one point in your house to another and walk it. Check to see how many steps you are getting from your loop and how long it takes you to walk it. If it's 500 steps, you know you need to do 10 loops to get in 5,000 steps. Knowing how easy it is to get another 500 steps in will give you some incentive as you go throughout your day to make walking a priority.
Do the Laundry
When you are folding clothes or hanging them up, fold them in the laundry room and walk them to the bedroom one article at a time. For example, mate one pair of socks and go put them in the sock drawer, go back to the laundry room and repeat. Keep going until all of the socks are put away. Now start on the shirts and move on to pants, getting a hanger each time you reach the closet. Completing your laundry this way will add a ton of steps to your day!
Dancing is fun and will get your heart rate up. Dancing also gets you a bunch of steps in without you having to focus on steps. Put on your favorite jam and go nuts. If you have little ones at home they will love dancing with you. The hardest part is starting. Once you get up and start dancing, you may not want to stop and I am sure you will be surprised at the number of steps you will get after only 10-15 minutes.
Who still gets phone calls these days? We have too many robo-calls to even want to answer the phone. To combat this, my wife and I have made a game out of the robo-calls and we aim to see how long we can keep them on the phone. While they are on the phone, we walk our loop. Our loop is from the front door to the back door, but you can make your own and change it up or have a few different loops to walk. If you have stairs in your house, use those every other loop to add some variety to your walking and a few extra steps.
Tidying up the house is a great way to get in some steps. You want to get the most out of this chore so when you have a bunch of things to put away, do them one at a time. If you have several items to put away that are on the other side of the house you will get in more steps taking them one at a time. Vacuuming is another activity that will help add to your step count.
We would all like to stay in when it is cold or hot outside. One task we have to complete no matter the weather is grocery shopping. We are going to the store anyway, so let's get some steps in while we are here! First, park as far from the door as possible. I do this every time I go to the store because I don't like getting dings in the doors of the cars. The perk to this is I get a few extra steps in going into the store and when I leave. Next, start at the back of the store (that trek to the back adds a few steps), and make sure you go down every aisle – even if you don't need to. Obviously this will take some willpower not to buy extras, but as long as you stick to your list, you'll be golden. Take a peek at your step count before you go into the store, and after. You'll be amazed at how quickly your steps add up here!
For a change of pace, take a trip to your local mall and go for a walk there. Walking in the mall offers a change of scenery. The mall has long stretches of walkways that are usually unobstructed – unlike our houses, where tables, chairs, and walls tend to get in the way. You are still inside and out of the weather, and who knows you may catch a sale or two while you are there. 😉 Get a step buddy and make it a date. Walking in the mall is free and can be entertaining depending on when you go. The way kids dress these days, you will have plenty to talk about on your trips around the mall. If you don't have a walking partner or they couldn't make it today, grab some headphones and listen to upbeat music while you walk. Most malls open their doors an hour before the stores open, so if you want some quiet walking time just go earlier in the morning.
You need plenty of water and most of us don't drink enough of it. Trips to the water cooler and subsequently to the restroom will boost your step count. According to Medical News Today there are 6 key reasons drinking water helps with weight loss:
1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
2. Water increases calorie burning.
3. Water helps remove wastes from your body.
4. Water reduces the calories you get from liquids.
5. Water helps you burn fat.
6. Water helps with workouts.
The takeaway here is the more trips to the water cooler, the closer to you'll be to your step goal for the day.
Is 10,000 Really the Magic Number for Weight Loss?
Studies vary on whether 10,000 steps is really the “key” to anything, but in my opinion it's all about getting up and moving. Before the 10K step movement, nobody really talked about how much we should be walking each day. The average person takes 2,000 steps per mile, so that's 5 miles a day you'll be walking if you get to your 10K steps! That seems like a whole lot, but overall health and weight loss really depend on what you're eating as well. Stay on track with Weight Watchers and you will be golden. 😉