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How To Get 10k Steps a Day

Increasing your daily movement (i.e. non-exercise activity like walking) is one of the smartest and most under-rated strategies for fat loss.


It decreases the stress hormone cortisol (which drives cravings, appetite, poor sleep) and increases daily energy expenditure without increasing hunger and cravings the way more exercise can.


Walking seems almost TOO simple to be effective.


I Fought It, Too…


I fought the idea of daily leisure walking FOR YEARS.


I mean, I didn't need to walk!! I was a group fitness instructor with a stacked class schedule. I was burning plenty of calories in my classes and workouts and didn't think I was sedentary because I worked out so much.


But the truth is, outside of classes, I didn’t move. I sat.


I also sat through nutrition and metabolism seminars and certifications for YEARS listening to lectures on the benefits of leisure walking.


Me: “Walking is for other people, but it’s just not for me.”


It didn’t give me the RUSH of a HIIT workout, or the empowerment of a mixed martial arts cardio workout or lifting heavy weights. It was boring. Slow. Too easy. Something “beginners” and “old people” do.


WOW, WAS I WRONG!


In December 2018, while sitting in an Advanced Metabolism Seminar in Asheville, N.C., I finally got it through my thick skull that maybe there was something to all this "walking, mindfulness, stress management”-business.


As soon as I got home, I committed to walking every day - and I haven’t stopped since.


This is now a daily practice for me, and it becomes part of the lifestyle for all the women who do our program. I now average 10k steps a day, a number that can seem really daunting if you’re used to sitting behind a computer all day. (I am too, btw…)


So how do we get it in every day? How do I hit an average of 10k steps every day?


1. Break It Into Smaller Walks.


One big lap around my neighborhood is ~1200 steps, and I do 3-4 of those per day with our dog, Silva. That’s almost half my daily steps right there! Having a dog helps. :)


If you wear a fitness tracker, it most likely buzzes your wrist at regular intervals when it’s time to get up and move, right? That’s walking time.


We are all busy doing important things, but a 10 minute walk will do wonders for your mental state, give you a battery recharge, and help you chip away at the daily step goal.


2. Invest in a Treadmill.


Unless you live somewhere with a moderate climate for walking outside year-round, having a treadmill at home can be a great Plan B. This is also a smart option if you have small children at home or don’t live in a safe neighborhood where outdoor walks are an option (esp at night.)


Here’s the thing: You don’t have to spend $1k+ on the fanciest treadmill!


We found ours in the local classified ads for next to nothing. If that’s not an option, budget for it and start saving. Check local fitness equipment re-sale stores like “Play It Again Sports,” as they frequently re-sell used cardio equipment for a few hundred bucks.


It’s an investment in your mental and physical wellbeing.


YOU’RE WORTH IT.


3. Walk Pre- and Post-Workout.


I start and/or finish most of my workouts with a walk. It’s a great way to warm-up or cool down, and those 10-15 minutes of walking ALL count towards my 10k for the day!


4. Don’t Stop Til You Hit It.


I know. ((Eye roll.))


This seems obvious, but it’s like any other goal: it doesn’t happen unless we make it happen.


YES - there are some nights I’d love to stay on the couch and not get my walk in, but I ALWAYS feel better when I MOVE! Right now I’m loving 30-min post-dinner walks: I sleep better AND it helps me hit my 10k daily goal!


Walking isn’t a workout. It’s movement, and our minds and bodies need it. It’s one of the best forms of self-care on the planet.


Don’t let yourself off the hook and think it doesn’t make a difference. Commit to your goal and be relentless about it.


5. Get Better Gear!


If you’re cold, wet, and miserable - walking is no fun! Find the right fear for the climate where you live: maybe it’s rain boots and a rain coat, maybe it’s a full-length insulated puffer coat and a beanie and gloves. There’s good gear at every price point, from Target and Old Navy to Lululemon and REI.


Some days I only get 9k steps, and some days I get 15k, but my daily average has been 10k steps a day for a few years now, and these strategies are exactly how I make it happen!


If you’re looking for an EASY first step to getting healthier and leaner, the secret is in the STEPS!



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