Setting a challenging step goal can motivate you to walk more than you otherwise would. But sometimes, we find that our step goal is just out of reach. If you’re not hitting your step goal (or you’re aiming for a new, higher goal), there are some common factors that may be holding you back.
Walking is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy, but simply wanting to walk more isn’t always enough. Here are some of the reasons you may be falling short of your daily step goal and how to overcome these and get more steps!
Note: If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)!
You Have a Desk Job
Those who work in service or retail have an easier time hitting their daily goals than those who spend most of their workday confined to an office or desk. But you don’t need to let that stop you from achieving your goals. You’ve got this!
Take frequent breaks to walk a bit when you can. If possible, communicate in person rather than forwarding an email. Spend a few minutes of your breaks and lunch hour accumulating a few steps. Try to stand up and move at least once every hour. Even a 2 minute walk every hour can counteract some of the health risks for sitting long periods of time. You may also want to try using a restroom located on a different floor. Taking restroom breaks on a different floor may not be as convenient, but it is an effective way to increase the number of steps you take during your workweek.
You Park in the Most Convenient Locations
Yes, life gets busy, and you probably have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time. When you are in a hurry, it’s likely that you park in a spot that is closest to the entrance of your destination.
You don’t need to find the spot furthest from your destination to increase your step count. Even a parking spot a few cars back will help. Compromise if you need to. Remember that you get more steps on the way in the door, and on your way back to your vehicle. If you’re at a store, you can also try taking one extra lap around before you check out and exit.
You Lose Your Motivation
Sticking to a goal is difficult when you only have yourself to answer to. It’s easy to get bored or promise yourself that you can make up for missing steps another day. You may need to find a way to keep your fitness goal a bit more interesting.
Join a community of people who have similar goals. Find a friend and engage in a bit of healthy competition. It’s easier to stay motivated when you involve others in your goals and share your progress. With Pacer, it’s easy to join a group or post to your feed to get other people involved in your step goals. Try posting your step day on your Pacer feed. You’ll be surprised at the encouragement you’ll get!
You Spend Your Leisure Time on Passive Entertainment
It’s easy to forget to take more steps when you are enjoying your time spent watching your favorite television programs or catching up with your social media accounts. We all do it, but indulging for hours at a time without moving around can get in the way of achieving your goals.
Try setting an alarm for a half-hour or even 15 minutes when you’re killing time sitting or lying down. When it goes off, take a step break by walking around the room or even going outside and taking a quick walk. The step break can energize you and will help you avoid losing track of time during unproductive activities.
Better yet, find something to do in your free time that gets you active and entertains you at the same time. A walk in the park is fun, free and gets you steps!
A Few More Suggestions to Help You Meet Your Goals
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. A goal of 10,000 steps daily will help you fulfill the recommended daily and weekly exercise goals endorsed by the American Heart Association. If you are still having a hard time getting all your steps in for the day, try some of these additional suggestions:
- Take a brisk walk around your grocery store one more time before checking out
- Pace the room or your halls during commercial breaks
- Keep the steps count going while chatting on your phone
- Walk in place while washing dishes or brushing your teeth
- Take a walk after dinner
- Park your car and walk to the pick-up area when picking your children up from school
- Take a stroll with your coffee rather than sitting with your cup
Walking for health and fitness can be incorporated into any busy lifestyle. If you find yourself losing your motivation, try lowering your goal temporarily and add 1000 to 2000 steps to your goal each week. New habits take time to develop. Once taking more steps comes naturally to you, it may be easier to find ways to add more. Taking 10,000 steps each day is a simple way to achieve your health and fitness goals.
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.