Staying active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control suggests getting 150 minutes of physical activity per week, which translates to 10,000 steps per day (Fitbit’s default daily step goal). Whether hitting 10,000 steps is as simple as walking to and from work, or a bit more challenging due to a lengthy car commute, one simple way to boost your step count is by being active in the early hours of the day. Aim for 5,000 steps before your lunch break, and you can get a leg up on reaching those 10,000 steps. Here’s how.
6 Habits that Can Add Up to 5,000 Steps Before Lunch
Sweat before work. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, try heading to bed 15 minutes earlier to help your body wake up for a quick morning workout. It could be as simple as a 30-minute walk through the neighborhood to get your blood pumping, or a full-on sweat sesh at the gym—whatever it takes to get you up and moving first thing in the morning. Bonus: Studies show that morning workouts can help to reduce blood pressure and boost energy!
Create distance. If walking or biking to work isn’t an option, you’re likely taking public transportation or driving each day. Consider parking in the farthest spot, or getting off the bus a few stops earlier, and walking the rest of the way. This tactic only sets you back a few minutes, but will help you build more steps into your day.
Plan walking meetings. One-on-one meetings are often held in conference rooms, probably because it’s so convenient. But for a change of pace, take those meetings outside. You’ll sneak in extra steps and connect with your colleague, killing two birds with one stone!
Be inefficient. Doing things less efficiently can actually be a good thing, especially when it comes to increasing step counts. Need to use the restroom and get a drink from the kitchen? Do one task at a time to maximize steps—grab your cup of tea from the kitchen first, drop it off at your desk, and then head to the restroom.
Take a mid-morning stroll. While it can be tempting to crank through work at your desk to complete a project, it’s important to spend some time away from the computer screen. Take a mid-morning break and head outside! Pick a coffee shop that’s a few blocks away from the office. Even better, head out before lunch for a 20 minute stroll. Not only will you snag more steps, your creative juices will be flowing, setting you up for a more productive afternoon—a study from the American Psychological Association shows walking can help increase cognitive skills.
Take the stairs. It’s a tried-and-true way to go the extra mile. Instead of jumping in the elevator of your apartment or office building, take the stairs to get more steps and watch your floor count climb. Talk about stepping it up.
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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.