I’m less active in winter, there is no way around it. I enjoy snow, but not being cold. I’d prefer to look at the fresh snowfall from the comfort of my couch with a cup of tea in hand, than get all bundled up and head outside. During the summer I can’t spend enough time outside – parks, walks, adventures with my kids, trips to the beach – I want the warm sun on my face every day.
Last year when I was deciding whether to work on the #PathToFit campaign with Garmin and Whole Foods, I thought to myself, oh piece of cake – I’m active – I train for marathons – I can walk 10,000 steps a day, no problem. It hasn’t been a piece of cake.
In the past I had tracked my steps with other devices and had always hit 10,000, but that’s because it was warm out. The devices I was using needing charging once a week or more. Invariably once I charged them I would forget to put them back on for a while. Sometimes they sat unused for a day, other times weeks. I often felt like tracking was a waste all together because I was missing out on steps being counted if I was charging during the day time, or sleep being counted if I was charging during the night. They ended up sitting in a bowl with other unused watches, gathering dust.
It wasn’t until I started using the vívofit that I actually caught the tracking your steps bug, shall we say. For the first week I had a very hard time hitting 10,000 a day. I wasn’t running as much and it was glaringly obvious that if I didn’t run, I wasn’t really being all that active in my day-to-day activities.
Here is how I am working to get my steps over 10,000 a day, even on days I don’t run.
- Setting a time limit on screen time. I don’t blog every day but I do spend time online and that time is more often than not, time spent sitting in a chair in my office or living room. The red bar at the top of my vívofit tells me when I have been inactive for too long. That bar has left me asking myself multiple times – have I really been sitting for that long? Now I’m setting timers to ensure that I am goal focused and finish what I need to do before I start letting myself get distracted by social media and other such things.
- Walking after treadmill runs. Many of my runs have been on the treadmill lately because of slick or snowy conditions, I’ve added on a mile of walking after each run every day. It serves as a great cool down and ups my steps for the day.
- Walking after long runs. My kids are getting a little older so I have a bit more flexibility with my long runs. The past two weeks I’ve headed in to DC with my mom to run with her and her friends. Yesterday after our run, I suggested we grab lunch together followed by a bit of walking around an outdoor retail area. Not only was I getting my steps up, but I was also helping my body recover faster from the run by not just sitting on the couch being lazy.
- Food prep, cooking and baking. When you take the time to prepare your own food and making things instead of buying them, you do a lot of standing and walking. I’ve been making special treats for my kids and husband rather than buying a box of store-bought cookies. Last week these gluten-free, fresh blueberry muffins had my mouth watering. Learning your way around your kitchen is like anything else, you actually have to practice to get better at it. My husband has certainly appreciated many more home cooked dinners as a results of this program with Whole Foods.
- Laundry, Dishes, Cleaning, Decorating. This past fall we had our entire house repainted. We decided we wanted to make our house a home, a place we loved being, even when it was cold. On the weekends my husband and I usually spend a good amount of time, clearing out stuff we don’t need, don’t use, or want, but during the week I wasn’t doing as much as I could on my own. Instead of hating my daily “chores” I use them as a way to fit in more steps – which actually in turn makes them more enjoyable. The other day I spent hours decorating, hanging up pictures and rearranging. When I sat down that night to watch a little tv, my feet were literally sore from all the walking I had done that day! My house has never been cleaner – it feels amazing.
My long run, yesterday combined with the extra walking helped me get over 30,000 steps for the day!!
There are a million and one ways to increase your steps daily, the vívofit keeps steps and being active when I’m not working out front and center on my wrist and on my mind. I thought it would be fun to track my steps for this project but I didn’t foresee that it was actually going to help me make changes that were going to add up in my daily life. I’m on day 26 of Whole 30 and I feel fantastic. I have a long way to go to break some of my bad habits, create new ones, and get some of my running speed back, but I feel like I am well on my way to making 2015 my year.
What are some of your tips to help me increase my daily steps?
This is the 4th post in a series as part of the Whole Foods Market/Garmin #PathToFit campaign. I was compensated with Whole Foods gift cards and a Garmin vivofit and use these items to create content for my posts.