On Monday I shared my review of my super duper brand new Fitbit Charge HR because one of my resolutions for the year has been to get more active.
In the past I've found a pedometer a useful way to encourage me to be a
little more active but my Fitbit shares my results with my friends which makes
me try a little bit harder to hit those extra steps. I did a bit of googling
back when I got it to find some suggestions for upping your step count but these
are some of the techniques I'm using now.
1. Be inefficient
I forget where it was that I read this one, I suspect it was in a Fitbit.com
blog post. Basically, if you've got a bunch of things to carry from one room to
another and you're able to pile them all up and do it in one trip, you might get
ten steps; if you carry it in two goes, you might get twenty.
Obviously, you don't always have time to do two or three trips. But when you
do have time to be inefficient, it's a good way to get in some extra steps. For
example, last week when I was putting the laundry away I stuck the basket on the
bed, then I put away a handful of socks, went back to the basket for a couple of
tops, went back to the basket for another handful of socks, and so on. My
bedroom isn't that big but a racked up a good number of steps doing it that
2. Travel further
Some people suggest getting on the bus at the next stop or parking in a
further parking space from where you'd normally park. You can do this in smaller
ways as well. At work, use the toilet furthest away from you. If you can go up
or down a floor, do it. If not, go to the cubicle furthest from the door. It
might only be an extra couple of steps, but over the course of a day, they'll
3. Schedule activity
I am a creature of habit. I've taken to setting my alarm five minutes earlier
each day to give me a little more time to get out with the dog. That means I
have an extra five minutes of walking time each morning. When the days are
lighter I'm hoping to set my alarm even earlier to give me a chance to go even
If you know you're going to have a long period of inactivity, try and do
something to break it up and get you on your feet. For me at work, this might be
a trip to refill my bottle at the water cooler (or given our more recent
weather, refill my hot water bottle at the boiler). At home it might be a quick
trip into the garden with the dog to let her out. I'm more inclined to do
something if I have some sort of reminder to do it; it might be an actual alarm,
or just a mental note to stretch my legs once an hour.
4. Share your goals
One of the things I love about my Fitbit is the app which allows me to add
people to compete against. I'm slowly adding all my Fitbit-using family and
friends and nothing pushes me to get in a few more steps than seeing one of them
is beating me. It's one thing to have a personal target but it's something else
to share that target with someone. If nothing else you can cheer each other on
or commiserate when you've had a bad week.
Even if you're not wanting to compete against some one, just sharing your
progress can be helpful. I'm finding the Walk Middle-earth group and Runkeeper a
fantastic way to keep track of how I'm doing. We've got different goals and
different ability levels, but we're all supporting each other.
5. Just walk
This probably seems obvious. If you want to get more steps in, you need to do
the legwork. I've been making an effort to get out morning and evening with the
dog, but sometimes the weather, time and other stuff are against you. It's
amazing how much you can get in without leaving the house.
Lots of places online advocate walking up and down while you're on the phone.
I've become rather partial to marching on the spot while I'm cleaning my teeth.
I work a desk job and so often my breaks involve me moving from sitting at my
desk to sitting at the canteen. Now, to the bemusement of my colleagues, I may
be seen walking round the canteen tables while I text Mr Click. One text can be
equal to over a hundred steps and I can send a lot of texts in a day.
Do you track your activity or use a pedometer? What are some of your
techniques for increasing your step count?