How many steps do you get each day?
If you sit for a large portion of the day AND you are struggling to lose fat, tracking your steps could be the secret weapon you need to help you break through your plateau. Research shows us time and time again– humans are made to MOVE! Sitting for prolonged periods can cause lowered metabolic rates, weight gain, spine, and postural issues, chronic pain, and depression.
Most desk workers (who aren’t putting extra effort into getting more steps in) average 2-3k steps per day! This is only about 1-1.5 miles of movement for the whole day.
Whereas someone who gets 10k steps gets about 5 miles of output per day. (For some extra perspective, a waitress or construction worker averages closer to 20k steps per day.)
3k steps – approx. 150 cals burned from steps
10k steps – approx. 500 cals burned from steps
20k steps- approx 1000 cals burned from steps
Someone who moves less will gain weight more easily and will have a harder time losing weight. They will have to diet harder on lower calories!
Makes sense though right? A woman who gets 10k steps will be able to lose weight eating 350 more calories per day than someone who only gets 3k steps.
Woman A getting 10k steps could lose weight eating 1700 calories whereas woman A getting 3k steps would have to eat only 1350 calories (which is actually VERY hard if you’re weighing your food) and she’ll be less likely to be compliant.
I expect my athletes to get a minimum of 7k steps per day w/ 10k being our goal. When they are short, I expect them to walk (don’t care if it’s on a treadmill, at the mall or walking in their office building on lunch break) to get to that 7k.
This is not their “cardio.” This is their basic movement prescription. Cardio is performed OUTSIDE of these steps.
This means if you sit all day, your “cardio” may not even be helping you break even with your more active peers.
Here are our tips to improve your daily NEAT:
- 10k Step Challenge: If you’ve never worn a Fitbit, Apple Watch or pedometer to track your steps, the quarantine can be a great time to start. These tools allow you to track your activity which can be both eye-opening and motivating!
- Team Fitbliss Conditioning Workout: Each month we include conditioning workouts in our programming to help you add extra movement into your day. These workouts are sure to help you break a sweat and stack up some steps! Endorphins are an added bonus! Adding in one of these workouts before you “Netflix and Chill” is a great way to bank up some steps.
- Set a Movement Reminder: Set a timer. Once an hour, get up and do 10 reps of any exercise of your choice. Push-ups, air squats, sit-ups. Ten reps isn’t much, but getting up every hour will add up over the course of your day!
- Walks (outside or inside): Who would have thought going for walks would become our number one form of entertainment? This option has SO many benefits. Sunshine is good for the body, mind, and soul. Take your kids, dogs, or just yourself for a walk to the park. This can also be a great time to listen to podcasts, books on tape or to call a loved one. If you live in a city and neighborhood walks aren’t feasible right now– try hitting the stairwell for some stair climbing!
- Drink up: During this time make sure you are hitting your water goals. 100 oz is a good goal for everyone. Another added benefit, you’ll have to get up to go to the bathroom frequently. You can even shake things up by going for a walk around your house after each potty break. 🙂
- Daily Clean-Up: One way to get some movement in is to clean your house daily. You get bonus points for playing music and having impromptu dance parties between projects!
- Multi-Task: Many of us are taking extra time to call friends and loved ones. Take advantage of this time and pace your house while you talk. It might not seem like much, but 20 minutes of pacing adds up to a whole lot!
- Park in the back: I know… you’re likely wanting to score the closest parking spot in the lot but you’d be surprised by how many steps you can get just from parking a little further away! Bonus points if you have some extra time to walk your shopping cart back to the front of the store after you load your groceries into your car.
- Go for a run: Walking is great, but jogging ups your steps exponentially. Check out the app MapMyRun to track your pace, mileage, and to control your music while you run!
- Yard Work: Who would have thought yard work would be considered a “fun” activity? Spending time weeding, mowing, planting, edging, and more will help you stack steps plus, again, you get the added benefit of Vitamin D! If you don’t have a yard, consider starting a herb garden or growing a tomato plant on your balcony. It won’t provide as many steps but it’s still something to do from home that doesn’t involve Netflix.
Whatever trick works for you, we encourage you to make an effort to get some movement in each day so you can take advantage of the benefits to your body, mind, and soul.