How to get 10,000 steps a day, every day

Since it’s January, let’s all be healthy living detox bores together. ┬áThat way we will balance out the non stop wine and cheese buffet that December descended into.

As I mentioned in the previous post about my fitness challenge, last year I managed to hit my daily target of 12K steps every day of the year. And here are my FitBit stats to prove it:



No prizes for spotting the point at which my new job started. Right now I am really struggling because I am sat down in an office for four days a week. And unlike when I worked from home, I can’t just get up and pace around the room when I feel like it (well I do a little bit but there’s only so much of that you can get away with in a meeting). So on an average work day right now I am only up to about 6K steps by 6pm. But I still make it to 12K steps by midnight.

If you’re new to using a FitBit or similar fitness tracker and aiming for 10,000 steps a day, I wanted to share some tips with you. As you will see, it’s not about magically creating more time to do this, it’s more about what you do with the time you’ve got.

  • Aim for more than 10,000 steps
    For most of this year I was actually aiming for 100K steps across the week, which is an average of 14K a day. It’s more doable than you might think. And BTW if you are using a fitness tracker to help you lose weight then you need to be aiming for more like 15K steps a day. See, 10K is looking like an easy target already.
  • Never say no to a walk
    Whether it’s nipping out for a pint of milk, making a cup of tea or auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks, grab every opportunity you can to keep moving. If you are also drinking two litres of water a day as part of your New Year Health Kick then this is smart multi-tasking because you’ll be constantly running to the loo. Yep, been there, done that.
  • It’s not going to happen if you’re just hanging out at home
    If you do a school run or have a dog to walk then you’ve got the 10,000 steps thing sorted already. In my experience, just hanging out at home in an average day uses up a mere 3,000 steps, which is plain embarrassing to contemplate. I think it’s the personal shame factor that these fitness trackers really thrive on. Consider getting a dog, or a treadmill.
  • Plan your way round an inactive day
    Let’s say you know you’re going to be driving all day, or hungover on the sofa. Days like that, you just have to accept that your target’s not going to happen. OR you can do your steps first thing, before you get on with the important business of sitting on your butt all day.
  • Call your mum
    For this you need a nice chatty mammy (Irish ones are the best) and you need to walk around when she’s talking at you. This could easily account for a good 3K of your daily target.
  • Make liberal use of podcasts, audio books, YouTube videos and music
    Basically anything to distract you from the mind-numbing boringness of pacing back and forth. This is what I’m doing a lot of right now. I have been known to pace for the duration of a two hour film, which for some reason infuriates Dennis the Cat, but then he’s a ball of anger at the best of times.

Yes I know there is a whiff of the mildly nuts about this. If you are doing a lot of your steps at home as opposed to going out for a walk then you need to have an understanding family, or at least house mates who won’t take the piss out of you too much.

It isn’t difficult to hit the 10K steps target, but it does take action and at least a little dedication. It won’t happen by itself. You still have to get up off your butt and move. But then I guess that is the point, after all.

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