How to Add More Steps to Your Day

You guys: A recent study says that adding an extra 3,500 steps to your day (about a mile and three quarters) could be the ticket to losing those last five pounds. But man, 3,500 steps can feel like a lot, especially when the days are short and you’ve got Netflix to watch. Here, 11 creative ways to sneak in the numbers on your Fitbit (or, ooo, Mira).

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Walk Around the House While You’re Brushing Your Teeth

Do it for about two minutes and you’ve earned around 100 steps.

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And Walk Around the House While You’re On the Phone

If you’re going to rehash the workday, you might as well be productive about it.

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Skip the Drive-Through And Go Inside

Yes, you have five minutes to order your coffee at the counter.

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Take the Stairs

Even if you just go one flight and then hit the elevator

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Climb the Escalator

Slower, sure. But 20 extra steps are 20 extra steps.

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Use the Restroom on a Different Floor

Whether you’re at work…or at home.

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Park on the Outskirts of the Parking Lot (Or Garage)

Just drop a pin so you don’t forget where you parked. And stroll leisurely.

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Do an Extra Lap Around the Perimeter of the Grocery Store

Without adding anything extra to your cart.

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Do the Same At Your Local Mall

Hello, it’s also a great way to keep your eye on all the sales.

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Carry in Grocery Bags One At a Time

Your back wins. Your pedometer wins. Everything wins.

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Do a Five-Minute Cleanup Before Bed

Remember what we said about brushing your teeth? You’ve just earned yourself 200 steps.

This article originally appeared on PureWow.

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14 Unique Ways to Get Your 10,000 Steps In

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Part of reaching your health and fitness goals is literally putting one foot in front of the other… again and again and again.

We’ve all seen the ominous headlines blaring that sitting will kill you and how sitting is the new smoking. But before you throw out every chair in your house (and office), it’s important to remember that it’s more about the lack of movement than the act of putting your butt in a chair that’s not good for your body.

That said, sitting for extended periods of time isn’t great even for people who exercise on the regular: According to 2015 research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, constant sitting — during your commute, at your desk, or on the couch— may blunt the positive effects of your workouts.

That’s partially because long bouts of inactivity inhibit the flow of blood and nutrients to your muscles between exercise sessions, explains Jason Raynor, C.S.C.S., a Nike Master Trainer with the Spa at JW Marriott Chicago. Performing regular activity like walking throughout the day, however, can help your muscles recover and reduce exercise-induced inflammation, Raynor says.

What’s more, outside of your workout, your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) — the energy you burn doing things like walking from point A to point B — is the biggest source of your daily caloric burn, says Kimberly Mills, owner of FitPossibilities Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching in Missouri. And remember: Hitting 10,000 steps a day is not a substitute for exercise — pair your workouts with regular movement throughout the day.

Do You Really Need to Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

“There’s nothing magical about the 10,000 number,” Dr. Campbell says. “The number came from pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s. They were marketed under the name ‘manpo-kei,’ which translates to ‘10,000 steps meter.’ The 10,000 step count then just kind of caught on since then.”

That said, performing regular movement — taking more steps than you did last week or last month — is the goal.

Related: How Many Steps Do You Walk Per Mile?

Research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests most healthy adults rack up between 4,000 and 18,000 steps per day, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t even bother making a step recommendation. Instead, it recommends adults do strength training and 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, which is roughly 8,000 steps a day, according to Campbell.

14 Easy Ways to Get You to 10,000 Steps

1. Get a dog

Nothing will get you out of the house faster than a puppy that needs to do some business. Not sure if you can commit? Check your local animal shelter or pet rescue sites for foster home programs; you’ll be doing your body and a homeless pooch a favor.

2. Take the stairs

At work, at the mall, at the train station, anywhere. If you wear a fitness tracker, you’ll score both steps and flights.

3. Take a moving break

During your lunch break, go on a 15-minute walk around the block. Not only will you get your steps in, but you may feel more focused at work. And remember to get up frequently during the day, not just at lunch.

4. Get a treadmill desk

Check with your company to see if they provide treadmill desks (yes, it’s a thing) for employees. Walking while you’re typing takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

5. Park far away

Every couple hundred steps of walking to or from your car adds up quickly. Plus, if you park at the back of the parking lot, you’ll help save your car from dings and dents.

6. Take the long way

When you’re at work and need to go to the restroom, skip the closest one and take a detour. Hit the stairs and use one on a different floor, or just take the longest route there. The same goes for doing errands (on foot) or strolling to a friend’s house.

7. Take a post-meal walk

Put your shoes on after you put down your fork. Taking a 15-minute walk after dinner can help you digest your meal faster, too.

8. Get off the bus or train one (or two) stops early

Two birds, one stone: You’ll help reduce carbon emissions and do your body good at the same time.

9. Play with your kids

Hide-and-seek can run up 10,000 steps alone!

10. Walk and talk

Take your business calls on-the-go, or skip the conference room and have walking meetings with your colleagues.

11. Don’t fast forward your DVR

The next time you binge-watch The Walking Dead, don’t fast-forward through the commercials. Stand up and march in place or pick stuff up around the house until the zombies get walking again.

12. Drink up

You need lots of water anyway, and all those trips to the water cooler at work — and the restroom — will make a big dent in your day’s step total.

13. Go on a walking date

It’s a kind of a throwback, but there’s something charming about taking a stroll, especially a sunset one, with your S.O. (If it’s a first-date-gone-wrong, then you can keep walking — away.)

14. Take extra trips

When unloading grocery bags from the car or carrying laundry to the bedroom, it’s tempting to try to take as few trips as possible. Instead, try taking one more trip than you absolutely have to.

With all the technology and machinery available to move us around with the least amount of effort, it’s easy to get in the “why walk?” mindset. We’re not saying you need to pull a Forrest Gump and traverse the U.S. on foot, but you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll hit your daily goal (whatever it is) when you use your feet for what they were meant to do.

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So, you’ve made a commitment to yourself to be more active — nice going! But between costly gym memberships, expensive exercise classes and increasingly busy schedules, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your commitments and fitness goals (without breaking the bank).

Luckily, walking is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to stay active throughout the day — and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment, memberships or class subscriptions.

If you use a fitness tracker (or are thinking about getting one), you probably know that tracking the number of steps you take each day can be a huge motivation booster. Yet some days, it can still feel like a challenge to reach that 10,000 step goal. So, how can you fit more average steps per day into your routine?

Here are a few of our favorite ways to sneak those extra steps in — without even stepping foot inside a gym!

1. Park further away. This one’s easy — just park your car at the far end of the lot and get some bonus steps on your way to and from your car.

2. Pace during your next phone call or TV show. A half-hour phone call or TV show can put you hundreds or thousands of steps closer to your goal. Or if you can’t get up from your desk during the day, try some deskercise moves at work.

3. Walk to somebody instead of emailing them. Is your co-worker across the building or campus? Go see them face to face instead of shooting them an email or text.

4. Partner up. Find a walking buddy and join forces. Establish a daily or weekly time to meet up and go for a walk.

5. Take a walk at lunch. When lunch is over, take a quick stroll around the block before going back to work. The fresh air will do you good.

6. Add some accountability. Post your goals on social media, or take on a personal challenge on any of your favorite fitness apps to keep yourself accountable to your goals.

7. Take the stairs. Avoid escalators and elevators and rack up some steps instead! By foregoing elevators, you’ll use less energy, and you’ll get a personal energy boost from the activity.

8. Take your dog for a walk. Schedule some extra playtime for your pooch. Your pet will love the extra time outdoors (and it will help you sneak in more average steps per day).

9. End your trip early. Get off the bus or out of your taxi a block or two from your destination and walk the rest of the way — especially if it’s nice out.

10. Find a new establishment. Is there a new lunch or dinner place within walking distance of your workplace or home? Time to find out! Explore the neighborhood by foot to find some new spots.

11. Walk while you wait. Who needs the waiting room? If you have time, take a walk around the building or block instead of sitting. It’ll make the time go by faster, too!

12. Set an hourly alarm. Many fitness trackers have hourly buzzers to get you up and moving. Activate them and add to your average steps per day.

13. Break it up. Ten thousand steps don’t have to happen all at once. Schedule smaller walks throughout the day to make it easier on yourself.

14. Take a walk after dinner. Instead of flopping in front of the TV or computer, take thirty minutes and enjoy an evening stroll.

15. Fire up a walking workout. YouTube has dozens of free walking workouts to choose from. Try one out in place of your morning routine.

16. Make a circuit while shopping. Explore the mall or shopping center in an inefficient way to get more steps in while you shop.

17. Walk all the way to work. If your work is within walking distance, of course. Not only is it a more sustainable choice of transportation, it will help energize you for the day ahead. Bonus points if you walk home from work, too!

18. Take the track. The track at your local high school or college is just about 2K steps. Take a lap around if you need a boost in your daily step count.

19. Walk for charity. Do yourself some good while you do good for others! This one’s a win-win.

20. Start a competition. Make an office bet to see who can rack up the most steps in a week. A little friendly family competition never hurt anyone, either.

21. Take a tour. Check out a new museum or take a local walking the next time you have a free weekend.

22. Go geocaching. Try out geocaching games with the family and rack up steps while you have fun!

23. Take a hike. Take a weekend trip somewhere new and get out into the great outdoors. You’ll be surprised at how many steps you can rack up on a scenic hike.

24. Reward yourself! While this won’t net you more steps directly, giving yourself an extra treat will help keep you motivated and energetic.

With a little ingenuity and a few tricks up your sleeve, it becomes easy (and even fun!) to incorporate more walking into your daily routine. By taking even just a few of these ideas, you’ll be sure to turn your daily step goal into reality in no time.

Need some motivation to get started? Check out BLINQ’s deals on fitness technology to help you set your goals, track your progress and stay accountable.

Do you have any strategies or tactics you use to increase your average steps per day? I’d love to hear your tips and success stories in the comments below!

7 Ways to Win Any Step Challenge—Plus Two Tactics That Won’t Work

If you haven’t taken part in a Fitbit step challenge, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re motivated by competition (invite friends and family to an official Challenge, join a group, or track your spot on your seven-day friends leaderboard) or would rather just compete against yourself (start an Adventure), there’s something for everyone.

Plus, internal research shows that people who participate in both Fitbit Adventures and Challenges walk 2,000 more steps per day than those who haven’t participated in a challenge. So even if you lose, you win. (Sometimes literally: Participating in weekly challenges helped one user drop 50 pounds!)

There’s really no downside to giving Fitbit step challenges a shot. But if you’re going to compete, you might as well try to win, right? Below, seven ways to set yourself up for success, plus two tactics that aren’t worth your time.

How to Dominate Step Challenges

Opt into updates. When it comes to time-based step challenges, knowledge is power. Knowing where you and your competition stand not only provides motivation but also gives you a short-term goal to shoot for. There are a few ways to get more info.

First, after you join a Fitbit Challenge, click “Options” at the top right of your Fitbit app and make sure “Do Not Disturb” is turned off. This will allow updates to come through.

Next, log in to your fitbit.com dashboard and click the gear icon in the top right. Select “Settings” then “Notifications”. Now choose to get alerts via your mobile phone, email, or both (depending on what’s possible) for the following three things: low battery, step goal milestones, and cheers and taunts. Now you’ll never be caught off guard.

Turn on Reminders to Move. Your Fitbit tracker or smartwatch can be set to give you a gentle vibrational nudge 10 minutes before each hour if you haven’t taken 250 steps. Just select the Hourly Activity tile on your dashboard and then the gear icon in the top right corner. Turn Reminders to Move on and then adjust the hours and days it’s active—the more the better.

Set extra alerts. Taking 250 steps an hour is really the minimum amount you should be moving. Schedule more walking time into your day by adding it to an electronic calendar. If you own a Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Versa, or Fitbit Ionic and turn calendar notifications on, your device will alert you when it’s time to walk.

Multi-task. Building more movement into your day doesn’t have to be completely pre-planned. Instead, just rethink common activities. Brushing your teeth? Do it while you walk. Have to take a phone call? Pace the halls. Watching TV? Walk during commercial breaks.

Interact with your competition. Challenge participants can see each other’s profile photo, posted messages, total steps in the challenge, goal progress, and achievements. Use this to your advantage by cheering other people on and leaving them encouraging messages (they may do the same for you!) or taunt them with some friendly trash talk. The more active and involved your competitors are, the more likely you will be, too.

Always carry your phone. Why? If you ever forget your tracker or it runs out of batteries, you can turn on MobileTrack. MobileTrack lets you use the Fitbit app without a Fitbit tracker by using your phone’s sensors to track basic activity data, including steps, distance, and calories burned. Just log into the app, tap or click the Account icon, choose the option for setting up a new device and follow the MobileTrack instructions.

Turn on all-day sync. Or at least get in the habit of syncing via your phone. Here’s why: After a Challenge ends you have 12 additional hours to sync your tracker, and chances are you’re more likely to be near your phone than a computer.

If you prioritize staying on top of your friends leaderboard know that the time cutoff is even tighter. This leaderboard represents a rolling seven-day step total. So it takes into account the total steps you’ve taken over the previous six days plus anything you’ve done today. At midnight, the 7th day drops off and your next day begins counting toward your total. Competitors syncing through a phone have a distinct advantage over people who need to be near a computer to update their totals.

Two Step-Challenge Cheater Tactics That Won’t Work

Shortening your stride length. The leaderboard step count totals are only based off the number of steps counted by your Fitbit device or MobileTrack. Stride length does not in any way affect step count. In fact, it’s only used to calculate distance.

Manually entering steps. Manually logging extra steps and activities will not count towards your leaderboards, activity groups, or challenges. This is to help deter the small number of users who may be tempted to cheat. However, if you did do some extra stepping and want to manually log them, you’ll still get credit on your dashboard and activities page.

How do you stay competitive during Fitbit step challenges? Share in the comments below.

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.

Danielle Kosecki

Senior health and fitness editor Danielle Kosecki is an award-winning journalist who has covered health and fitness for more than 10 years. She’s written for Glamour, More, Prevention, and Bicycling magazines, among others, and is the editor of The Bicycling Big Book of Training. A New York native, Danielle now lives in the Bay Area where she doesn’t miss winter at all.

Share it up!

Today I am spilling the beans about how I rock over 100k steps each week- and you are NOT going to believe it! It is the ultimate fitbit cheat guide! I added a couple affiliate links to this post to make it EVEN easier! 😉

Welcome fitbit friends! I am SOO glad you are here! And you’re looking for some ideas on how to finally CRUSH your step goal and dominate your fitbit challenges.

I know how you’re feeling, the struggle is real! Each day, you put on the old fitbit, and get on with your day. You FEEL busy. You MUST have met your step goal, right?

But still, some days you crawl into bed and you feel the sting. No step goal for you! Or maybe you hit your goal, but your marathon training friend ALWAYS beats you.

GAH! Foiled again!

The same thing used to happen to me every week, I know how you feel!

Now, every week I ROCK my Fitbit challenges. Well, today the cat is out of the bag because I have totally found ways to sneak in extra steps and fool my fitbit. And I’m ready to share!

So if you are ready to sky rocket your step count with as little effort possible, you are in the right place!

NOTE: These have already been tested using a Fitbit Flex, Charge HR and Surge, as well as the clip models. I have not tested it with the all new Alta or Blaze yet, but it should be the same for all.

Ready? Let’s go!

RELATED: 20 Awesome Fitbit Accessories

Fitbit Cheat List

1. Clip it to your dog’s collar. Throw a tennis ball. Repeat as necessary. If that is too much for you, get your dog a self-loading fetch machine.

2. Strap your Fitbit to one of your kids. Feed ’em some candy and let them loose!

3. Build this epic Fitbit cheat machine. (I love the name he gave it!)

4. Three words: paint can shaker!

5. Okay, wait- really?! Do you really think I cheat my fitbit?! Moi?!

6. Then I totally got you! April Fools! Did you fall for it??

7. You know you want to share this with your Step Rival! Step-nemy? Step nemesis? Whatever.

8. But seriously I KNOW you didn’t shell out all that money on a totally rad fitness tracker, only to try to CHEAT it?! Nawww! You wouldn’t do THAT!

9. What a WASTE that would be! You have an awesome opportunity to get more active and even lose weight- if you’re not doing it wrong. You deserve this!

10 But maaaaybe you could use a LITTLE help with that step count, in a non-cheaty way? I can still hook you up! Just find your fitbit user level below to find some hints on how to bump your step count up a level.

11. Beginner – Fitbit 101

12. Intermediate – 15+ Fitbit Tips to CRUSH Your Step Goal – From Real Fitbit Fanatics!

13. Advanced – 15+ Awesome Fitbit Hacks to Help You Get the Most From Your Tracker

OR For anyone trying to lose weight with Fitbit:

RELATED: Get Motivated in my 2017 Fitbit Challenge with Cash Prizes!

1. Walk to the end of the platform

If you get the train or tube to work, don’t just stop when you reach the platform. Walk right to the end, and stroll up and down whilst you wait if you have time – you’ll get a couple of hundred steps in a matter of minutes. When you eventually board the train, go right to the back carriage – you’ll have to walk further to the barriers when you get off as well.

2. Get off a stop too early

Not running desperately late? Get off your public transport at least one stop before you need to, and appreciate a little extra fresh air before you arrive at your desk. You’ll probably find yourself feeling more awake and focused when you finally sit down to concentrate, and you’ll have a pleasant surprise when you check your daily stats as well.

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3. Give up escalators

Okay, we might give you a pass if you’re carrying a massive suitcase, or at Covent Garden station (193 steps, or the equivalent of a 15 storey building, FYI), but if you’re just going up a bog-standard flight of stairs, don’t take the lazy way out. Brace your thighs and get climbing, and bam – you’ll get anywhere from 30 to 100 extra steps, just like that.

4. And get out of the lift a floor before

Firstly, ask yourself if you really need to get the lift at all (we’re all side-eyeing you, person who just pressed the button for floor one). If the answer is yes, which sometimes it’s reasonable for it to be, choose the floor before yours, and take the stairs to your destination. It’s bare minimal effort, but if you do it several times per day, it’ll add up.

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5. Cook meals from scratch

Chopping, peeling, frying or baking something independently might not give you more steps automatically, but you’ll be going back and forth between the hob, the fridge, the bin and the oven, and gaining numbers every time you go. You know how many steps you take cooking a ready meal? About five, when you go and get the fork to pierce the plastic. Yeah.

6. Leave your desk at lunchtime

Scrolling through Facebook is a totes valid use of your time, and we’d never deny you it. However, you can catch up a certain activity means you have to sit down – your lunch break, on the other hand, dictates no such thing. Make the most of it by grabbing a friend and going for a walk around the block – your eyes will thank you for the screen break as much as your legs will thank you for the step count.

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7. Go shopping

It could be a standard supermarket shop or a department store marathon – either way, most of us don’t realize how long we’re actually exercising when we hit the high street. Even if you’re the kinda gal who would never spend a Saturday walking for two hours in the country, we bet you can manage the same amount of steps if you switch the location to Selfridges…

8. And carry in the bags one at a time

Carrying more bags than is sane for any one human might well be a matter of personal pride in your household, but ditching your usual red hand-ridges and emptying the boot one bag at a time will get you stepping far more.

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9. Take the furthest cubicle

Even the toilet isn’t safe from your new super-healthy step regime. Take the cubicle furthest away from the door – yes, we know it’s a petty amount of steps, but how annoyed would you be if you were that many off your 10,000 that day? If you’re feeling really motivated (and not absolutely bursting for a wee, obviously), seek out a bathroom on a different floor.

10. Park in the furthest spot

Of course, leaving your car at home in the first place is the best option, but heading for the outskirts of the car park if you must drive is also a pretty good idea. Hey, at least you’re far less likely to experience one of those blood-boiling ‘my spot’s just been stolen!’ moments if you’re aiming for the spaces no one else wants…

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11. Take a commercial break

The average ad break is around 3 minutes long, which is more than enough for you to get another couple of hundred steps without even opening the front door. Don’t limit your walk to your living room, tour the whole house and make sure you go up and down the stairs at least once per show.

12. Tidy up

You really can get your all of your steps without leaving the house, as long as you don’t spend the whole day on your arse. Hoover the carpet, put away the laundry, mow the lawn, or just put away the trail of stuff you’ve managed to leave behind you throughout the week. Every little helps…

13. Stop waiting around

Instead of waiting for the kettle to boil, walk around. Instead of sitting on the sofa to talk on the phone, walk around. Instead of gazing into the mirror whilst you brush your teeth, walk around. If you haven’t figured it out yet, time stood still is wasted time when there’s a Fitbit on your wrist, so suck it up and get moving.

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