By Gary Ditsch, lead exercise physiologist for Retrofit
There are many reasons we say we “can’t” fit exercise and activity into our lives. But for all the excuses we use there are just as many strategies and daily hacks that can help us become healthier and more fit. When you commit to add activity to your routine, one of the best strategies for making the habit stick is to also start tracking your daily movement.
Over the last couple of years, the popularity of activity trackers has continued to grow. It is now common to see someone wearing an activity tracker in almost any setting. With an activity tracker you get immediate feedback and create more opportunity for success. We have found at Retrofit that every step matters when it comes to weight loss. In fact, clients who achieve 10,000 steps or more per day are 2.7 times more likely to reach their weight loss goal!
If you are not currently tracking activity, where should you start? Here are several steps (literally) to get started.
First, take an assessment of your current activity. The best way to do this is to wear your tracker for two weeks to get an honest assessment. Take the average step count for the two weeks and use this as your established baseline.
Next, set up your individualized activity goal. While 10,000 steps might be the ultimate goal, your first threshold should be something relative to your baseline measurement. A suggestion is to take your baseline metric and add 2,000 steps per day to create your target.
Now that you have an established baseline and a personalized target, it’s time to find the small ways to add more activity and boost your step count. A few effective strategies might include:
- Aim to add 500 steps to your tally each time you get up to use the restroom. (1,000 to 3,000 extra steps per day)
- Take 1,000 steps at work before your sit down at your desk. (1,000 extra steps per day)
- Set an alarm to go off every hour then take 200 steps each time it rings. (1,600 to 2,000 extra steps per day)
- Add 1,000 steps around the office after work prior to leaving the building. (1,000 extra steps per day)
- Set a 2,000 step requirement to “earn” morning coffee; take 1,000 steps with coffee in hand. (3,000 extra steps per day)
As you can see from the examples, it’s easy to add more activity around the moments that already exist in your routine. Start with just one step-boosting strategy. As taking those additional steps becomes more natural, add another strategy, and another. Soon you’ll be much more active than before and well on your way to better health!
This post sponsored by Retrofit.
January 17th, 2014