Stuck-in-a-Step-Rut

We all know (and hopefully use) some of the nifty ways to increase our daily step counts ie parking the car further away, taking stairs instead of elevators and jumping up during TV ad breaks, to name a few. But even doing all this, after a few short weeks you may find yourself trapped in a step rut! So how do you increase your daily steps from here?

This is our favorite way to get your pedometer and you out of the step rut!

Break down your daily step count into three parts…

  • Part 1. Set a step goal to achieve before 11am
  • Part 2. Set a step goal to achieve between 11am and 4pm
  • Part 3. Set a step goal to achieve between 4pm and bedtime!

Lets take John for example, he is a 9-5 office worker – when he first got his pedometer he was doing 3,000-5,000 steps a day – this included a walk to the park most lunchtimes.

After 6 weeks John successfully got his daily step count upto 9,000 steps (good on you John!) by finding those little opportunities in his everyday routine, eg

  • Parking his car on the top floor and walking down a few flight of  stairs to his office
  • On his tea break morning and afternoon – he added a few more hundred steps by walking around his floor.
  • Before he went home in the evening he walked around the block (weather permitting)  – remember he had parked on the top floor – so he walked up all those flight of stairs too.

He was, and quite rightly so, very chuffed with almost doubling his step count in just a few short weeks! But alas, he was still 3,000 steps short of where he really wanted to be. His goal was 12,000 steps and beyond! But he really struggled to get his step count over 9,000 steps, he just couldn’t see where else he could fit extra steps into his day…

That was until he heard about our little step tip :)

Using Walk with Attitude’s suggestion, for the first couple of days he calculated and jotted down his current step count between 3 different times and averaged them out:

- 1st step count was at 11am/ 3,000 steps
- 2nd step count was 11am – 4pm/ 2,200 steps
- 3rd step count was at 4pm – bedtime/ 3,800 steps

Looking at these numbers – he excitedly realized there was still huge opportunities to increase his steps and all he had to do was spread out that additional 3,000 steps – so he steamed ahead and set himself his three daily step goals.

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

Charles R. Swindoll

His step goals looked like this:

  • By 11am : 4,000 steps (increase of 1,000 steps/10 minutes) – his plan was to arrive at work 10 minutes earlier and walk around the block)
  • 11am – 4pm: 3,500 steps (increase of 1,300 steps/13 minutes) – his plan here was to walk back to the office the longer way after lunch at a quicker pace (so as not be late) PLUS walk around the office for a couple of minutes every hour for those few hours!
  • 4pm to bedtime: 4,500 steps ( Increase of 700-1000 steps/ 7-10 minutes) - He knew there were lots of little odd jobs that needed to be done around the house, so instead of collapsing on the sofa and turning on the TV when he got home, he was going to attempt an odd job every night.

Needless to say, within a couple of weeks John was feeling very happy with himself, almost every day he was reaching and going over his goal of 12,000 steps a day!

LITTLE FACT: Many of us walk 70-100 steps in one minute

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Have you ever been stuck in a step rut where your pedometer, at the end of everyday just seems to be stuck on that same number? Please inspire others by sharing your thoughts and ideas on how you increase your step count in the comment box below.

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Kate Crosby is a passionate walker and co-founder of Walk with Attitude & Pedometers Australia. When Kate's not out testing new pedometers/activity trackers, she is leading the Walk with Attitude team to create innovative walking challenges for individuals and workplaces. Kate firmly believes walking with a "little Attitude" can change your life.

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