How to boost your step count
Too busy to get active? Think again. Here are five simple things you can do to help you boost your step count
Following years that saw us - at times out of necessity - embrace walking as a popular form of exercise (or simply to get out the house), we're seeing no signs of this trend slowing down.
According to data from the UK government, people in England even in 2021 were walking similar distances to those seen in 2020, with 31% of trips happening on foot.
More recently, the Active Lives survey, revealed that cycling and walking now comprises of 20% of all transport activity undertaken by adults in England.
People are switching from cars as a result of the cost of living crisis, which is at least positive news for the environment and our health.
“Even a small amount of physical activity helps our body release endorphins (a feel-good hormone) therefore aiding in boosting our mood,” says Jonny Kibble, Vitality’s Head of Physical Activity.
“It can also ‘use up’ excess adrenaline and cortisol [stress hormones] that could potentially be contributing to an increased level of stress.”
However, given the sedentary lifestyles many of us live - working from home or sitting at desks - it is not always easy to reach a daily target of 10,000 or - better still - 12,500 steps.
Try the stairs
The lift or escalator might seem tempting. But even just a couple of floors can help raise our heart rate and boost our step count.
Taking the stairs ups your aerobic exercise, which can help lower your risk of heart and circulatory diseases.
Walk and talk
Bored of countless calls while working from home? Perhaps try doing at least one meeting a day on the move.
Or, if you are happy to splash some cash, a standing desk, walking treadmill or walking pad are some of the gentler ways that you could get some exercise into your day if you’re working from home.
Stand up, sit down
Getting up every 30 minutes for a break during your work day is a great way to up your step count, and now that spring has officially sprung, it's a great time to shake off those symptoms of SAD with some fresh air and outdoor activity.
Remember, if you head out during the day time, go when the sun is high in the sky, this will give you an opportunity to soak up much-needed vitamin D.
Do a cardio commute
Walking to work (if it's not too far) could be the answer to get your step count in for the day. Or if you’re unable to walk the full length of your commute, why not try walking some of the way before hitching a ride on public transport.
Walking to the train station or bus stop is a hard and fast way to up those numbers.
Get the kids involved
You don’t need to run 5km to get your 8 points. Just tracking things you do every day can be enough, even if it’s a walk round the block to drop the kids off.
If you and your little ones are up to it, you could also take them on a parkwalk at your local parkrun.
If you're a Vitality member, you'll instantly earn 8 active points for taking part in a parkrun or 5 if you volunteer.
As a Vitality member, you could get discounts on a range of fitness trackers.
Once you’ve chosen your device, you can link it to your Vitality account through the app and start earning active points today.
And, did you know that your phone is already tracking your steps. You’re already doing the hard work, so why not get rewarded for it.
So, what are you waiting for? Start earning your points by logging into Member Zone today.
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