Watch Your Step

 Labor Day has passed. The kids are back in school and the days of s’mores-fueled chats by the campfire, lounging by the pool, and relaxing in a cool movie theater to escape the heat are over. Fall is almost here and it’s a good time to reboot and move a little more.

But how much activity do we need? HMSA’s health and well-being app by Sharecare recommends taking around 10,000 steps a day, or about five miles. According to doctors on Sharecare, taking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day can help you lose weight and gain control of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. For some, that’s an easy number to hit. But for others, the thought of walking that much seems impossible.

Getting in 10,000 steps a day isn’t as hard as you think. Here are five tips to help you reach that goal.

Take an extra lap. Before you check out at the store, walk through the aisles one more time. You can add steps while making sure you got everything on your list. You can take an extra lap around the grocery store, mall, or anywhere you shop.

Park farther away. Instead of hunting for parking spaces close to your destination, try parking at the end of a row, the farthest corner of the parking lot, or even in a different section. You’ll barely notice the extra distance while sneaking in more steps.  

Take a break. Sometimes we get so caught up with work that we sit at our desk for hours at a time. To avoid this, set an alarm as a reminder to get up and stretch at least once an hour. Also, if you have to go to the bathroom or want a drink of water, visit restrooms or water fountains on a different floor. Take the stairs to get there instead of the elevator.

Socialize over steps. Instead of going to happy hour with your coworkers or catching up with an old friend at a bar, try doing something active instead. Taking a walk around a park, visiting a botanical garden, or strolling down the beach will help you achieve your step goal, save you money and calories on alcohol and food, and allow you to chat with your friends without having to shout over loud music.

Join a walking moai. The Blue Zones Project encourages people to incorporate making healthy choices in their daily lives. One way to get more exercise and build new friendships, which contributes to overall well-being, is through a walking moai. The concept of a moai comes from the Okinawan word for meeting for a shared purpose. Joining a walking moai combines the benefits of walking with the fun of social interaction.

Incorporating these tips so you can reach 10,000 steps a day is possible. Tracking your daily steps and exploring Sharecare’s personalized content can help you reach your goal. If you start now, you’ll be ready for the turkey, stuffing, and other holiday foods that are just around the corner.

For more health tips, register for Sharecare today!