Nutracheck member 'Dippyem' has been a winner in a number of our Fitbit Step Challenges, clocking up an impressive number of steps!
So we've asked her to share her tips on how to pack more steps into your day.
Admin asked me if I would consider writing a little piece about how an average day is for me for getting my steps in, so here goes.
I work full time and have a family – my youngest is still at primary school. He's my biggest priority, so I try to fit as much walking as possible into my day to day routine as I want to spend as much time as I can with him. Everything has to fit around this, but then we all have our own priorities and I realise this would be much harder if I had someone I had to care for or a very young child to look after.
I am also very aware that I am well and healthy enough to be able to do things and not everyone is. I would say though that my general health has really got better since using NC and the 66 day challenge back in January really was helpful for me – the small changes that I made at that time have been built on steadily. I have not had a giant leap at any point but steadily my fitness has improved and the challenges are great for focusing me back on my health and lifestyle changes.
I have looked at a normal day, not one when I am training or doing a challenge, although I have mentioned where I often up my step count without it affecting my routine too much.
A usual day for me is pretty humdrum, getting up and helping everyone get sorted usually takes between 1-2k steps. It is all the normal stuff, getting breakfast out, putting things away, chasing jackets, bags and keys. I usually do at least 1.5k and I think this will be the same for most people getting ready in the morning whether or not you are going out to work.
If I get up early enough though I will do a bit of exercise, I love running and doing YouTube stuff but I am not going to include this as I don't do it every day. I often add another 10-15k doing these.
I can drive, but I commute to work. I am not too far from the train station but have a bit of a walk at the other end. Sometimes I will get off the train a stop early but again am not including this as I don't do it every day. I've usually got 5K steps under my belt before I start work, just for the journey. It's way of upping my steps if I choose, I still get into work on time but I can also get in another 2k steps (4k on a return journey). I do this twice a week but again not every day so I am not counting it.
If I am pushing myself a bit more and have time, then I sometimes meet one of my colleagues about five miles away from my usual train stop and we walk into work. I like doing this as it is quiet in the mornings and I find it relaxing.
Lunchtime I leave the building, even if it is raining, and get out. I don't think it is healthy to be indoors all day and I like a break away and a stretch. The team I work with are all the same and like to get out so we all go together.
I usually end up going to the shops for milk, bread and stuff, on my way home from work – this adds another 1-2k steps.
I can't remember a day when I did less than 3k steps in the office, if I haven't been out on visits. If I am out on visits I will do a lot more. I am in and out of the office for work some days but even on the days that I am in, I never, ever use the lift now, and I get up and walk to speak to people when appropriate rather than email.
I'm lucky that I live in area where there are lots of great walks but my day to day stuff doesn't come from this. If the weather is good I take my son and his friends to the park and while they are playing I will get a walk in. This can be anything from 20 minutes to an hour. If we aren't going to the park then he usually has his sport club, and again I will walk him there and back.
During the winter months this year we still got out most of the time, however in the days we couldn't I either dragged out the Wii or got on the treadmill. Sometimes I'd also walk round to friends or family to visit – as long as we were doing at least one active thing each day.
I do lots of little things as well, rather than just lose the time, and now some of these are habits. My own favourite now is if I am on my mobile at home I don't sit down, I get up and walk either in the garden or in the hall. It is amazing that you can get in at least a thousand steps just by not sitting down. I probably clock up 1-2k most days for this and it doesn't actually feel like I am doing anything.
Any little tasks that I normally do all have a bit of extra added in too. I might get in another 2 – 3k just doing general housework – like ironing, sweeping floors and vacuuming. I put clothes away as I am ironing them rather than wait for them all to be done. The same with unloading the dishwasher and putting things away in the kitchen.
It all adds really quickly without doing anything extra.
I think the key for me has been just doing it. I can be a terrible procrastinator and it is easier just to do it than think about it. It's all been small adjustments for me that have allowed me to be able to push that bit further and do the bigger challenges – it has really been steady little improvements all the way.
Nutracheck co-founder Rachel Hartley, BSc (Hons) Food & Nutrition is passionate about food and diet. Rachel's philosophy is providing accurate, up-to-date calorie information to help people make the right food choices.