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Creative Ways to Reach 10k Steps (even in the winter months)

“There is no such thing as bad weather, there’s just bad ways to dress for it”

Think about it. It’s all perspective. You don’t have to be cold outside. Dress appropriately! Even when it’s cold and even when it’s snowing, I still aim to get at least 10,000 steps every single day. Why? Regular movement throughout the day makes me more energized, my body feeling mobile, my concentration enhanced, and my mental health in check.

PLAN ACTIVE HANGOUTS. My MO for hanging out with friends is going for a walk. This doesn’t change with the seasons. Dress warm. Move at a brisk pace. Walking, snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, ice skating – this are all enjoyable activities that double as exercise.

WORK BREAK WALKS. Take your darn work breaks. Truly. It’ll make you more productive. I spend 60 minutes during my 8.5-hour work break walking outside regardless of the weather. 2 15-minute walks (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) and 1 30-minute lunch break walk. Though this seems like a long time to not be working during the day, the mental escape and physical activity make me more productive when I am working, resulting in greater efficiency and of course reaching nearly 10k steps by the end of the workday.

CHORES: Shopping/Cleaning/Shoveling. You’d be surprised how many steps are required to take a shopping trip to Target. Walking to and from the car, let alone walking around the store. Same with grocery shopping – it doubles as steady state cardio. Like grocery shopping, a chore as simple as cleaning gets your heart pumping and your step count up. Do you hate shoveling the driveway? Think about the exercise and how it’s benefiting your overall health.

WORKOUT. You’re thinking, “Duh, Mandi.” But really, I know how great movement makes me feel. I ALWAYS start every weekday morning with physical activity of some sort. If it’s a rest day from weight training, I’ll do a bodyweight routine, go for a walk, or go to the gym to use the stair-stepper. Starting the day with exercise (and a couple thousand steps) sets the tone for the rest of the day.

WALK AT THE GYM. If you’re sitting at home after work and it’s already dark out, go walk at the gym. When I’m feeling low on energy and experiencing slight seasonal affective disorder, getting off the couch and walking on the treadmill for half an hour switches my mood instantly. You might not feel like getting up and venturing to the gym, but once you’re there, it’ll be worth it.

Movement is SO powerful.


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