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5 Ways To Achieve 10k Recommended Steps A Day On Lockdown!

Moving more and getting outside in the fresh air is beneficial for both our physical and mental health. It is why aiming to get in an average of 10,000 steps per day is a great goal to have, as it does both of the above, at the same time.

Right now though, with lockdown in full effect, our ability to freely get outside has been greatly limited and whilst we can still go outdoors once a day for exercise, this has been suggested to only last up to one hour at most, making it even more of a challenge than usual to hit that 10,000 step target.

However, there are ways around it, we just have to get a bit creative and maybe a little unorthodox, but if a man can complete a marathon by running back and forth on his balcony during lockdown, then we can get in those steps.

Before we get into the how though, lets first look at the why.

It would be easy to wait until we can get back to our usual routines and use this time to slack off with our activity levels, opting instead to watch yet another series on Netflix. But, continuing to get your step count in and keeping active will provide numerous benefits (which are all the more important during these stressful times) and include:

  • Helping with weight loss and management (1)
  • Improved cognitive function (2)
  • Reduced anxiety and depression (3)
  • Improved quality of sleep (4)
  • Reduced blood pressure (5)
  • Improved immune functions (6)
  • Safe, free and accessible
  • Overall improved quality of life

As you can see, the benefits of ensuring you stay active during this time are plentiful  and imperative.

So, how do we go about our day to ensure we are staying active and getting in enough steps to take advantage of all these benefits? Let’s have a look.

  1. Make full use of your daily exercise outdoors

During this time, when we are confined to our homes and can only get outside to exercise once a day, it is vital that we make the most of the opportunity. It is being recommended to keep this time to no more than 1 hour, so to help you get in as many steps as possible, plan a local walking route that will take approximately 1 hour to complete, so that you don’t find yourself back home after 20 minutes and missing out on important steps and time outside.

  1. Cleaning/Gardening/DIY

Being active and getting our step count up doesn’t have to only be done during dedicated exercise, just being active around the house will add hundreds, if not thousands of steps to your total by the end of the day.

Now that were all going to spending a lot more time indoors, it’s a great time to do a deep clean of every room, get started on those DIY jobs that we never have time for or finally get round to mowing the lawn.

  1. Home Workouts

Many of us are already getting into a home workout routine, which means it’s an easy way to add in exercises that will contribute towards the 10,000 step target. If you’re training legs or doing a full body workout, then adding in exercises such as lunges, box (sofa) step ups or mountain climbers will help to push that step count upwards and aid in building muscle whilst you’re at it – win, win.

  1. Run instead of walk

If you’re able too, swapping a daily walk for a daily run instead, is going to be an effective way to have you racing towards 10,000 steps. Since we obviously move at a quicker pace when running, it  means we can accumulate a lot more steps in the same amount of time. If you can’t run for the whole duration, then do a mixture of running and walking intervals, or simply progress your regular walk to a power walk.

  1. Double up on the staircase

An unconventional method (which, were not going to lie, may get you some funny looks from your neighbours or housemates) but it’s one where a small action, done frequently, will add up to make a big difference over time.

All you have to do, is whenever you walk up the staircase in your building or inside your house, simply walk back down and then back up again, essentially tripling the number of steps you take in a very short amount of time.

 

References

  1. Effects of a 10,000 steps per day goal in overweight adults.
  2. Gomez-Pinilla F, Hillman C. The influence of exercise on cognitive abilities. Compr Physiol. 2013;3(1)
  3. Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2)
  4. Hori H, Ikenouchi-Sugita A, Yoshimura R, Nakamura J. Does subjective sleep quality improve by a walking intervention? A real-world study in a Japanese workplace. BMJ Open. 2016;6(10)
  5. Mandini S, Conconi F, Mori E, Myers J, Grazzi G, Mazzoni G. Walking and hypertension: greater reductions in subjects with higher baseline systolic blood pressure following six months of guided walking. PeerJ. 2018;6
  6. Bartlett DB, Willis LH, Slentz CA, et al. Ten weeks of high-intensity interval walk training is associated with reduced disease activity and improved innate immune function in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2018;20(1)

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