Wednesday, November 25, 2015

3 Ways to Get Your Steps in This Winter

Last week I talked about how one of the boundaries I set for myself each day is getting my 10,000 steps in. I use a FitBit to track my steps, but you could use any pedometer or activity tracker. 10,000 steps is the recommended amount for a healthy lifestyle.

I swear by this because I have been working out every day for almost a year and a half now for 30 minutes a day at least. When I started tracking my steps after Christmas last year I was shocked at how little I was moving each day. My steps during my workout weren't as many as I'd thought and I hadn't been moving as much chasing JaiseAnn as I'd thought either. 

Now that I am aware of my activity, I make added efforts to get steps in wherever I can. In the Winter months it can be hard, though. I'm not as comfortable taking JaiseAnn on long(ish) walks (JaiseAnn was only a good stroller kid for a brief time, she already hates it again). I, myself, am not comfortable going on walks so much because I hate the cold. 

Now that the cold has set in, here are 3 ways I make sure I get my steps every day. 

Daily Exercise

A while back I did this post with Jaelan and she said, "Objects in motion stay in motion." When you start the day with exercise, you're more likely to have the energy to keep moving each day. The added steps from a good workout don't hurt either. 

Remember, though, not all exercise is created equal--and that includes steps. Twice a week I do Zumba and I always end up with anywhere from 4,500-6,500 steps in an hour. Other days I work out doing a DVD at home and I end up with anywhere from 1,600-2,100 steps. This doesn't mean the workouts I'm doing at home aren't worthwhile, they push my body in other ways and that's good, too. 

Set Appropriate Goals

When I wake up in the morning on a non-Zumba day, I have to carefully select my workout. In the winter it's so cold that I have to be aware of my plans for the day and how active I'm going to be. When I do that, I'm better able to choose a workout that will get me the steps I'll need for the day. It's definitely one of the things I take into consideration (along with choosing to do something I want to do) when I choose my exercise for the day.

I also set small goals for myself. We usually have more plans in the afternoon than in the morning, so I need to use my morning to get steps in if I need to. If we're going to have a playdate in the afternoon I will try to have 5,000 or more steps in by naptime. If we're going to be doing something that requires me to walk more, I might go easy on myself and say 4,000 by naptime. 

Find Warm Places to Move

Your house is always a great place to start. Finding games and activities that encourage movement with kids is always fun. We play "chase" and "hide and seek." I also make sure to do some house cleaning every morning, afternoon, and evening to keep moving. While I have been known to literally walk in laps around my living room after JaiseAnn goes to sleep, it's not the most fun way to get in activity. So instead I try to find ways to move during the day. Dance parties are a huge hit--JaiseAnn loves them and they get so much more movement in such little time. Dancing to 5 or 6 songs a day really adds up. 

Shopping is another way to get in steps. This has become more challenging as JaiseAnn has started to hate the cart, but when we go grocery shopping I get a lot of steps in--the same as a quick stroll around our local Target. Sometimes I take JaiseAnn to our mall--it's really deserted and she can walk on her own pretty easily and I can get my steps in at the same time.

You might know of indoor museums and other fun places to go when it's cold out that keep you moving. If it's something you enjoy and keeps you active, do it. It really doesn't matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated it seems as long as you're moving. 

Do you track your steps? How do you keep moving in the winter? 

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