Hacks to hit 10,000 steps a day
30 Nov 2017
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Andrew Cate

Hacks to hit 10,000 steps a day

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Think that 10,000 steps in a day is beyond your reach? Here’s 10 easy ways to reach that target and stay on track.

1. Don’t go for the rock star park

Whenever you have to take your car somewhere, consciously leave a few minutes early, and look for a “bad park”. 

Choose the spot at the far end of the car park when you do your shopping or park that little bit further away from the train or bus station for your daily commute. Make it an opportunity to take some extra steps at the start and the finish of your journey.

2. Step it out before breakfast

If you can clock up a good foundation of steps before the day has begun, it will be much easier to reach your daily goal. 

Morning walks are less likely to be put off by interruptions, and can boost your vitality for the entire day. It also helps to make exercise a habit if it’s consistent.

3. Game on

Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Team up with friends or work mates and go head-to-head in a walking challenge. You can use step count or distance goals, and compete individually or as a group. 

Fitness apps like Strava and Map My Run all running regular challenges so you can compete against any number of online communities. 

4. Use short breaks to be active

If you’ve been sitting at work for 60 minutes, or even during the ad breaks while watching TV, take a few minutes to get moving. 

At the office, you can take a short walk to talk to a colleague, or do some standing stretches. 

At home you can dance to a song, pull out some weeds in the garden, or quickly do some vigorous housework. 

5. Set a long-term challenge

It helps to reflect on your step count above and beyond the daily amount of 10,000. 

 Focus on a weekly goal of 70,000 steps, or a monthly goal of 300,000 steps. 

If you consider that each step is approximately 66 centimetres (2/3 of a metre), you can also set distance goals, like how long it would take to walk from Sydney to Melbourne (1,300,000 steps).

6. Reward your efforts

Rewards work well alongside long-term challenges as a good source of motivation. It allows you to celebrate your achievements, and reinforce positive behaviour. 

By completing a set number of steps within a designated period of time, reward yourself using incentives that can further enhance your success, such as new workout gear, hat new fitness tracker you’ve got your eye on, or a massage.

7. Step up when you catch up

When you are catching up with friends, arrange to go for a walk together instead of sitting down at a restaurant or cafe. In the workplace why not try a walking meeting? 

Get creative, and look for as many opportunities as you can to move more.

8. Check your device

Some devices, especially the cheaper models, may not be extremely accurate -don't have high expectations about a cereal box pedometer. 

It would be frustrating to only get recognised for some of your daily steps. Once in a while, check your device for accuracy by noting your current step count, taking 100 paces, and adjust the calibration for accuracy if necessary.

9. Include 20,000 plus step days

Every few weeks, use your weekend or a day during the week when you have a little extra time to double your step load. 

Whether it’s a bush walk or coastal trek, this is a great way to ramp things up and prevent your body adapting to the same routine. Explore the walking trails in your area, or even consider booking a trekking holiday.

10. Include rest days

Every 2 - 3 weeks, ignore measuring your step count for a day. Metaphorically, it’s like taking one step backwards to take two steps forwards. 

It gives your mind and body a rest, and helps you stay motivated over the long-term. This is especially important when you are feeling fatigued, or when you have included a 20,000 step day that week. 

Action Plan: Start moving for a healthier you

If you’re serious about getting moving for better health, but are finding it hard to get motivated, our Action Plan is a great place to start.

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