May 14, 2021

“Make Each Step Count” Community Challenge – Week 3

General Health

Welcome back!

We’re almost to that midway point of the challenge—this is a great point to reflect on what you are proud of from the last few weeks, and also, what you would like to accomplish for the 2nd half of the challenge.

Maybe you’re thinking that this is a good point to be adding a few more steps to your daily total and increase that overall weekly step goal (and, of course, add a bit more fun to your week too!). It can be hard to think of creative ways to get those extra steps in your day, aside from the obvious “add another block on your walk, or mile to your bike ride” ways to get steps. I know, also, that life is BUSY and it can about put you over to think “I have to add more minutes to my exercise routine?!”. Naw, we have a plan for this!

Perhaps you’ve heard the cliché “every little bit counts’, but it is SO true when you’re talking about steps and exercise—each little addition to your day can really add up, and sometimes adding that change to your routine/scenery can be invigorating and a great opportunity for new healthy habits and for continuing to work on keeping your mental health in a good place.

Here are a few creative ways for you to sneak in those extra steps daily, without taking too much time:

Park Further Away
– This can apply to anywhere! Work, the bank, post office, grocery store, etc. This is a two-fer because you have to walk IN and OUT of that location, so it means double steps.

Walk & Talk
– This can applied at the office, at home or out and about—either march in place, pace in the room you are in or even do a “walking meeting” if you can.

Move During Commercials
– Commercials seem to take almost as much time as the tv show does, don’t they? This is a great time to do a little movement during the few minutes—maybe a few standing butt kicks, high knees, or even some side steps. Now, if you’re watching Netflix, you aren’t off the hook—set your time to go off every 15 or so minutes to get up and do some movement.

Lunch Walk
– As the weather improves, taking a few minutes during your lunch break may be a great opportunity for a quick walk around the block, and the fresh air may give you the rejuvenation you need to tackle the rest of your shift.

Potty Breaks
– Hey, we all gotta go! Walking to the furthest restroom is a sneaky way to incorporate more steps on the ‘scenic route’.

Mall Walking
– I know…I know….COVID times….however, if you happen to be at the mall, or grocery store, and aren’t in a mad dash to get out of there, you can add another quick walk around the store or around the storefronts if you’re at the mall. (Haha, ok, this one to me is kind of silly because I’m a “get-in-and-get-out” type of person, but if this is you—you rock it!)

Start Your Day…On the Right Foot
– Maybe the thought of morning movement seems a bit far-fetched until you’ve had your coffee/newspaper/Facebook/quiet time, but maybe….just maybe…if you set your alarm for a little earlier, could you squeeze in a walk/workout? The morning is a great time to incorporate a little movement and to start your day doing something for YOU. I also find, that starting my day on an ‘exercise foot’ makes me feel accomplished for the rest of the day, and I tend to make more mindful and health-focused choices because well, my day started so positive! Plus, energy breeds energy, so you may just find it’s a great way to wake up and keep that energy going all day.

Waiting Game
– Waiting for a meeting? Picking up the kids? Early to an appointment? If you’re able to sneak in a few steps with pacing or dedicating time to walk the block, it will make the time go quicker and get those steps in for you.

Dog Walking
– Those pooches looooooove the “w” word, don’t they?! With the nice weather this is great time to get steps for both you and the puppers—just don’t cheat and put your fitbit/apple watch on the dog

Stairway to Health
– Stairs are another sneaky way to get a few steps in instead of the elevator, and many times…it can be quicker than waiting. If you have steps at home and want a quick 5 minute workout—do a few flights of stairs and watch the steps (and heartrate!) increase.

Buddy System
– Finding a friend/family member to join you can make the time go quicker, and help keep you accountable if you are one that likes to have someone joining you. I know sometimes it can be easy to make an excuse (tired, work, laundry, I just don’t want to), but when you have that friend or family member, they will help keep you on your toes and showing up.

Yard Work
– Ooooh, it’s that time of year—lots and lots of yard work!!! Don’t forget to track those minutes of time spent in the garden, picking up sticks, mowing, etc.—they add up!

Movement and steps all come in different shapes and forms, and sometimes you have to add that creativity to help increase your steps. Remember, each little 5 minute blip you add during the day WILL add up, and give you all those awesome physical, mental and emotional benefits that exercise is known for.

Until next week!