Sitting is the new smoking. This is what many health professionals are now saying about the incredibly sedentary lifestyles that most Americans lead and the serious health risks that can result from sitting too much. When you take into account that the average American isn’t getting their daily steps because they sit for approximately 10 hours of their entire day, you can see that too much sitting is very, very bad for your health. Case in point: Studies show that sitting for long hours at a time can lead to a greater risk of developing conditions like diabetes, obesity, depression and some types of cancer.
According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Science, the average American only clocks about 5,000 steps a day when the recommended amount is at least 10,000.
Sound like a ridiculously high and impossible number of steps to shoot for? Actually, all you need to do is get a bit more fit-savvy by using the following strategies to help you log more steps in your day. Use these strategies consistently and before you know it, you’ll be hitting and even smashing the 10K goal!
11. Take walking meetings.
From our first business meeting of the day to happy hour, most nine-to-fivers prefer to sit. But just think of how many steps you could log if you turned your typical office meetings into walking meetings instead – which is especially easy to do when you’re meeting one-on-one with someone.
For example, instead of taking the usual meeting with a colleague in your office, suggest a stroll around the building while you both walk, talk and brainstorm.
By doing this you’ll log in more steps, and studies also show that walking can help sharpen mental skills, which will then help your ideas flow.
22. Maximize your TV time.
Studies say the average American spends around five hours a day watching TV. Just think about how many steps you could get in if you moved while you watched.
Now personally, I only watch about 1-2 hours of TV each day and one thing I always do during TV time – no matter what I’m watching – is stand and move. I never sit. I also enjoy jumping rope while watching TV, which is one of the best calorie-torching, do-it-anywhere workouts that you can easily sneak in during TV time.
33. Go mobile while on your mobile.
This is one of the easiest ways to clock in more steps without even realizing it! Just think about all the time you spend during the day on your cell phone – receiving phone calls, making phone calls, ordering pizza – and let’s not forget yesterday’s call to your girlfriend when you spent 30-plus minutes gabbing about “Atlanta Housewives” or the new shoes you got for Christmas. Now imagine if you did all this gabbing while walking, too. That’s a lot of steps!
44. Make your life less convenient.
Truth be told, our world has become so technologically advanced that people nowadays can be quite lazy without even realizing it – such as when we can choose to use everyday conveniences like escalators and elevators instead of the stairs.
In the interest of fitness, what you want to do is make your life less convenient (and thus more active) by doing simple things like parking a little farther away from the store entrance instead of circling the lot for 10 minutes while looking for the perfect spot.
Also take the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you use public transportation get off one stop before your actual destination. By doing simple things like this you’ll be able to squeeze in 10 to 15 minutes of more leisurely walking – which can easily equate to an extra 2,000-plus steps!
55. Get your loved ones involved.
While you make the personal effort to be more active in your own life make sure to get your loved ones in on the fun, too!
For example, you can take a family trip to the park for a little b-ball action instead of plopping down in front of the TV, or you can plan a miniature golf date with your main squeeze instead of going to the movies. And really, who doesn’t love mini golf?!
Bottom line, you want to make being active a “group effort” because it will help keep you motivated. Plus it’s a lot more fun and feels good for the soul when you can get the people you love to lead healthy and more active lives, too.