3 ways to increase steps as weather changes

As we established last month, getting your steps in is important for everyone, regardless of your goals. (See the study again here or read my blog post here.) And, although I am fortunate to live in a state that has mild-ish winters, not everyone has access to that, nor does everyone want to put on 3+ layers of clothing for health. I get it. If I didn't have a dog, I probably wouldn't be voluntarily walking outside as much either.

So when the weather changes, how can you adjust your walking habits to achieve your daily steps without freezing your ass off?

1. Invest in a treadmill desk. I think this one can seem intimidating without context. To clarify, you likely won't be speed walking at 4.0 mph at your treadmill desk. You are not aiming for an arm-swinging speed here... unless you want to, I suppose. If you're truly working and getting down to business while walking, you likely won't exceed 2 mph. Many set the pace to 1-1.5 mph to make it easier to work and walk.

Other tidbits: you don't have to use it for all 8 hours of your work day, and it's purpose isn't to get you to sweat or rapidly increase your heart rate. It is simply a tool to get more steps in during the day.

You might use it as you're on a Zoom call that requires more listening/consuming than full participation, or you might use it as you're writing or finishing up some emails. Bonus points: studies show creativity increases while walking... sounds like a win-win if you ask me!

2. Go shopping. Yup, head to Costco. Who doesn't enjoy going down every aisle of Costco? Don't be shy. I know you do already or at least want to. Listen, you're already there for an hour+ anyway, might as well reap the health benefits of it while you accidentally drop $400, amirite?

While you're at it, park the car further away from the front door. These steps truly add up!

Other suggested stores: IKEA (for obvious reasons, considering you literally have to follow the maze through the entire store), Sam's Club, the mall, or most furniture stores.

3. A daily sweep. Ya know all that random stuff that gets left on the coffee table every night, and no matter how recently you cleaned, it always seems to make its way back to the coffee table after .3 seconds? Or maybe your home office can get a little out of control after a day of hard work. Tidy it up daily and use this as an excuse to get more steps in. Plus, showing up to a clean area is a bit more inviting, isn't it?

Getting your steps in doesn't have to be a daunting task. Set yourself up for success by assessing how you can make it happen. Too cold for a mid-day walk? Clean up your living room instead. Need to brave the cold and head to the store? Take a stroll down a few more aisles. Want to have access to a treadmill in your office? Invest in a treadmill desk, or a regular treadmill to walk on your own time.

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