Have you noticed how many people wear the wristbands that measure how many steps you take a day? The guy that came up with that device was a genius. He has not only sold millions of them but is now a part of a billion dollar industry. He has also cleverly given people a reason to step it up in the walking department.
How Does the Step Counting Gadget Work?
Before we give you work out hacks, we think it’s important to understand the technology behind the step counter. Originally, people bought a pedometer and strapped it onto their belt and with every step, it logged another step. That worked just fine, but as we know, technology is its own beast, and those pedometers are a thing of the past, like the flip phone.
These gadgets count steps, but that’s not all. Some of them can tell you everything about the inner working of your body, even when you sleep. The reality of these accessories to fitness is that they aren’t accurate from just walking. Stand up and sit down or move your arms around. It will count as steps. Bend over because that counts as a step. But, that’s okay, because really what these do is keep us moving and walking, which was the original goal of them and should still be the purpose.
Hacks to Get Your Steps In
Now, if you are like me, you don’t wear one of these gadgets. I admit that I do have one, and wore it for about 12 hours, but frankly, it isn’t cute at all, and I don’t want to sleep with anything on my wrist. That’s not to say that I don’t exercise. I do. In fact, my exercise of choice is to get out in the fresh air and walk at least 3 miles when I have the time. But, because time is limited I have some workout hacks that can help you get your steps in, whether you are counting them or not.
Take The Stairs
This one is so obvious, but not many of us do it. When you are out, and you see an escalator or stairs, take the stairs. If you have an elevator or stairs, take the stairs. Now, if you are at home and have stairs when you go up, go down and up a few times before staying up.
Walking up stairs at a moderate intensity should burn five calories a minute for a 120-pound person, seven for a 150-pound person, and nine for an 180-pound person. And, the faster you go up those the stairs, the higher your heart rate will go. Easy hack to accomplish every single day.
Park in the farthest spot in the lot.
Something else we instinctively do is park as close to the door as possible in a parking lot. We will even drive up and down the rows to find the nearest spot! Instead of spending your time looking for the closest spot, part in the farthest parking spot from the mall entrance or the front entrance to where you are going.
Another hack for parking lots is if you are at a strip mall and are going to be heading to more than one place that might be across the way, drop your packages in the car and walk to the next destination. Bonus steps for dropping off packages and bonus points for not driving to the next spot!
Walk to the mailbox.
How many of us stop for the mail when we pull in for the evening? Or stop by the mailbox on our way out in the morning? Instead of stopping the car, pull into your garage and then walk to get your mail. It might not be a very far walk, but it will get in some steps.
Walk the Mall.
You need to go to the mall. Don’t park near the store, but on the other end where you need to be. Walk through the mall to get to your destination and then walk back to your car. Depending on the size of the mall, this could garner you some hefty amount of steps.
Inhouse Walking Hacks
On the television, there is a button that will move the channels up and down. Put down the remote and try to find it and use it!
When you are on the phone, walk around the house instead of sitting on the couch or behind your desk.
If you have two stories and a bathroom on the main floor, go upstairs when you need to use the restroom.
And, finally, put your alarm clock across the room, so when you wake up in the morning, the first thing you do is get out of bed and walk or stumble, to it to turn it off.
Our point with giving you walking hacks to get your steps in? It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it. Of course, these hacks aren’t going to get you fit and trim, but it’s a start!
What hacks do you do to get in some extra steps?
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A version of this article was first published on Intersection M.