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Sneak Fitness Into Your Routine

15 tips for a more active day

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There are easy ways to get extra steps in throughout the day.

En español | 1. Start your day on the right foot 

Get off the bus or subway one stop before your usual. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking can help you organize your thoughts and help feel more energized as you start your day. Gradually add another stop or two to increase the distance. You’ll build stamina and start to crave that all-natural mind and body boost before the workday.

2. Walk your happy hour

Meet friends for a walk instead of socializing over coffee, lunch or drinks. You’ll enjoy miles of good conversation, maybe some inspiring scenery, and feel extra proud to be doing something good for both of you.

Mature couple talking while walking

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3. Use talking time for walking time

Unless you absolutely need to be plugged into your desk and in front of your computer, schedule phone meetings (and catch-up time with your friends) for when you can stand up and walk in place, stroll the hallways or, for a nice long gab with a friend, how about a cruise around the neighborhood deep in convo?

4. Go far for lunch

Instead of visiting your usual lunch spot right around the corner, set your sights on finding an interesting option a few blocks away. Stash an extra pair of walking shoes at work and, at lunch time, lace up and do your own lunch delivery. Or, better yet, brown-bag it and hotfoot your way to a local park for some mid-day R&R.

5. Pace the sidelines

If you’re taxiing your kids to sports practice, use the time you’re sidelined to walk the perimeter of the field. You won’t miss critical moments during your child’s big game, and you’ll squeeze in some healthy laps. Even better, enlist the other soccer parents to join in and start a mini-walking club.

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6. Stay ready 

Keep a pair of good walking shoes and comfy socks at the office so your feet look forward to a mid-day break from your desk as much as your mind and spirit will. Plus, you’ll avoid the afternoon slump. Studies show that increasing circulation boosts creativity and energy.

7. Play favorites 

Find the nicest bathroom, your favorite copy machine, the best water dispenser on different floors or corners of your workplace, and use those – instead of the ones nearest to you – every time you need to.

woman going up the stairs

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8. Take the stairs

Not only will you increase your number of steps, you’ll also use different muscles and tone your legs.

9. Go the distance

It’s classic advice, but it works: Choose the parking spot farthest from the entrance — no matter where you are. You’ll add extra steps to your day and be able to spot your car in the parking lot.

10. Entertain yourself

Download onto your smartphone your favorite audible books or interesting podcasts, and reserve listening for your walking time. You may find yourself lacing up just so you can hear a new chapter or walking longer to finish the podcast.

Two mature woman walking their dogs

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11. Walk the dog

Pets need exercise as much as you do. Take yours for a morning and evening walk around the neighborhood or a local park, and you will both reap the benefits. 

12. Learn something

Also on your smartphone, download language lessons and practice with your virtual instructor during your walk time. 
13. Account for yourself 

Download a free step-counting app or buy an inexpensive fitness tracker to watch those daily numbers. Challenge yourself (and your walking buddy) to hit a daily goal of 10,000 steps a day.

14. Wind down after work

Before diving into the usual business of making dinner while catching up with family after work, take the show on the road. Connect and unwind with your partner or kids during a 10- or 15-minute predinner walk.

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15. Move and groove

Music is great motivation to keep going, even when you may be tiring. Create a music playlist with your favorite songs and artists to help you keep a steady pace and to entertain you as you stroll along.