10 Sneaky Ways to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day Over the Holidays

Woman walking with wreath
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With all the holiday hustle and bustle requiring so much of your precious time, how can you find opportunities to walk or add walking steps throughout your day to reach your goal of 10,000 steps? There are ways to search out those elusive minutes that seem to become lost in each busy day. They are scattered throughout your morning, afternoon, and evening, but with a little ingenuity and thought, these tiny spurts of time can add up to extra calories burned.

Here are 10 smart, practical, and super easy tips that can help you stay active during this joyous time of year:

1. Wear a Pedometer or Use a Pedometer App: Get yourself a pedometer or add a pedometer app to your mobile phone and use it every day. This inexpensive tool is a terrific motivator. It helps you keep up with exactly how much you are actually moving. You also might be covering more ground than you expected. Being able to monitor your movement will help you to move even more. Many people feel that if they see actual numbers, it's more like concrete evidence of what you are accomplishing. Try adding 500 extra steps the next day. This is equivalent to about five minutes of steady walking.

2. Do Your Chores on Foot: Resist the urge to delegate any household tasks which involve walking, such as getting the mail, walking the dog, taking out the trash, or simply fetching something from the car.

Asking the kids or your spouse to do it may seem quicker and easier sometimes, but it doesn't help your pedometer reach its goal!

3. Decorate with Added Steps: When putting up and taking down the Christmas tree and other seasonal decorations, leave the box of trinkets and ornaments on the opposite side of the room.

Walk to the box for each item, then back to where it will go. All that back and forth really adds up and doesn't take much extra time.

4. Cooking on the March: While cooking or baking those delectable holiday treats for your friends and family, consider jogging or simply marching in place while the timer ticks away. Those minutes will soon pass and you will have made extra use of them!

5. Park Far Away From the Door of the Shops You Visit: I made this a habit and now I cringe at the thought of parking close up. Not only do you add steps to your day going in and back out of the store, you are saving time not having to search for a space AND you will save your car from being hit by carts or other car doors. So many advantages to this one!

6. Move in the Morning! I found this to be a fantastic way of making sure that my exercise time wasn't eaten up with daily surprises that require my attention. Get up a few minutes earlier each day, stretch and take a few deep breaths. Then walk or jog in place, even if only for a few exhilarating minutes. You'll wake up quickly and have a few hundred steps already to start off your day!

7. Walk Through a Movie: Choose to forgo the recliner as you watch that latest new release.

Move during your movie. Pace around your living room while keeping an eye on the screen, or walk or jog in place. Two hours will pass quickly and that can add up to several thousand steps. This is usually one of my favorite ways to grab an easy 5-mile walk while staying indoors. Not up for two solid hours of moving? Vow to move the first 20 minutes of each movie you spend time watching. A quick way to accumulate to nearly 2,000 steps!

8. Pace on the Phone: Pace through the house as you enjoy a chat on the phone. Steps add up when you form this simple habit. This is another example of using hidden minutes.

Commit to move during your next 5 calls.

9. Stand Through Your Sit-Down Tasks: Make it a point to stand as you fold laundry, go through the mail, or write out all your bills. You'll find you can add many steps to your overall day this way. Then when the laundry needs to be put away and the bills put in the box outside - Don't delegate these duties! Think of them as a few more chances to push for your steps or miles goal for that day.

10. Dance, Dance, Dance!
Boogie down to some great fast music while you cook, clean or manage any other chore. Feel your mood instantly lift and your feet will get happy as well! Time flies when you are listening to the cool rock bands you grew up with as a teenager. Let yourself remember those days and smile.

Energy Saving Is a Problem

There truly are hundreds of floating minutes in our day which are open for walking; we only have to look to find them! A century ago, without all the modern conveniences we have today, a person needn't make extra time for exercise. Moving was just a given. Now, however, with all our time-saving contraptions and energy-saving appliances, we have to include exercise in our day just as you include sleeping. It has to become and remain a priority on your own to-do list.

Walk Your Way to a Christmas Bonus

You can meet your walking goal every winter day this season! Just remember: As you rush around handling all the last-minute details of Christmas time, be sure to take time out for you too, even if it is in small increments! Then as the colder, winter days pass and the bright, new days of spring approach, your fitter, more energetic body will thank you.


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