We all know that regular movement is crucial for overall good health, achieving our transformation goals, and for simply feeling good both physically and mentally. And while our workouts can definitely provide a lot of benefits and burn calories as well, we might forget the importance of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which includes any type of movement other than sleeping, eating, or “formal” exercising. NEAT is the movement we get all day long just by living our lives. And it counts! So, if you think that you need to spend hours and hours in the gym working out to achieve your goals, think again. Any type of daily movement can make a difference.
One way to get in some extra movement (and burn some extra calories if fat loss is your goal!) is through simply increasing your step count every day—those steps you take by walking to the store, walking around the house, walking at work, and so on. Sounds too simple, right? And it is. Steps, no matter how or where you get them, are considered low impact movement, which means it’s easier on your joints and bones, and it can be a good recovery exercise after injury (be sure and check with your healthcare team first!). Getting in your daily step count offers additional benefits too:
Physical benefits of hitting your daily step count:
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Higher energy levels (You can get more done each day!)
- Increased muscular endurance
- Better balance and coordination
- Helps with weight loss and weight maintenance
- Helps prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and more
- Better cardiovascular fitness
- Improved immune system
Mental benefits of hitting your daily step count:
- Increased mental alertness
- Better sleep
- Lower stress and tension levels
- Better mood
- Better comprehension and memory
So, are steps important? Yes!!! Every single one is important! But how do you know how many steps you should aim for each day? While the “ideal” daily number is 10,000 steps, which equates to about 5 miles, you can still get some step benefits from lower step counts. Your ideal number of steps depends on your goal (fat loss vs. muscle gain), so keep that in mind when setting your daily step count goal. Here are some general guidelines to go by:
- Inactive: Less than 5,000 steps per day
- Somewhat active: From 7,500-9,999 steps per day
- Very active: More than 12,500 steps per day
In order to hit your daily step count goal, you need to track every single step. Fitness trackers can do this for you, and a good old-fashioned pedometer can work as well. Tracking steps is like tracking your nutrition—if you’re not tracking it, you cannot get a clear picture of what is actually happening. And since your total daily movement is crucial to achieving your transformation goal, it’s important to hit that daily step count. Step by step by step.
We have a totally customizable step counting feature in The Transform App! Easily link to your Apple watch or FitBit and watch your step count rise throughout the day.
If you’re not already an app user, try it for FREE for 7-days here!
10 Tips for Hitting Your Daily Step Goal
Hitting that daily step goal can be easier than you think—no equipment or workout plan required! Here are 10 tips to help you nail that stepping goal!
- If you’re not quite hitting your daily goal, increase your steps by 250-500 steps per day until it’s easier to hit that daily step count.
- Walk in place while watching TV or while on the phone.
- Park farther away from the office or store.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- When nature calls, go to the farthest restroom in your office or home.
- Take walking breaks throughout the day. Remember, this can help you mentally as well!
- Walk your dog or offer to walk someone else’s dog.
- Set timers throughout the day to remind you to take some steps.
- Create a friendly step competition with co-workers, friends, and/or family members. See who can reach their step count first each day or who can get in the most daily steps.
- Step-ify your daily chores and activities. Take some steps in between laundry loads, do some stairs between emptying and loading the dishwasher, get in some steps in between projects and tasks, and so on. Get creative!
Your daily step count is important, and those steps you often don’t even notice can really help you nail your transformation goals and increase your overall feelings of well-being. So, if you haven’t thought about adding more steps into your day, here’s your sign. Get stepping!