health

12 Sneaky Hacks For Walking More Each Day

Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Walking is one of the best exercises out there, especially for beginners. Why? Easy. You don’t need a gym membership or any sort of equipment. All you need in order to walk is a sturdy pair of shoes and a desire to check out your neighborhood on a nice day. It’s probably why apps like Noom have their own pedometers — they know that walking is not only beneficial but also a great way to keep the pounds down.

And it’s not just great for those hoping to shed some weight! According to Healthline, walking just 30 minutes a day for five days a week reduces your risk of coronary heart disease by almost 20%. If you want to live longer, and feel better, walking is almost mandatory.

But here’s the problem — even when you know something is easy, it doesn’t mean that you can easily incorporate it into your schedule. For example, even though I know that a walk will help my health, it’s still hard to peel away from the computer screen on a particularly busy day. That’s why it’s important to trick yourself into taking more walks. Even if it’s only a 15-minute stroll around the block, it’s still better than sitting. The only break in your day might be your lunch break, but it’s still worth it to get outside for at least a few minutes instead of eating your sandwich right in front of your computer.

Another benefit of walking? Sometimes you don’t even realize that you’re doing exercise once you’re in the routine. Here are 12 sneaky hacks for walking more each day that will fit into your schedule and help you stay true to your exercise goals.

1. Find a great walkable destination that makes you happy

walking-exercise-noom

Walking is a lot more fun if you enjoy the destination. See if there are any small shops or stores that are less than a mile away. That way, if you need to run a minor errand, you can walk there and back and consider it both your exercise for the day and a chore you can cross off your list! Walking is also a great way to get to know your neighborhood. Even if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, there are always new side streets and fun venues to discover.

2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator

taking-stairs

If you work on the third or fourth floor of your office building, it can be really tempting to take the elevator. If you’re looking to stay active, though, opt for the stairs whenever you can. If you work on a much higher floor, it might seem impossible to walk up without getting sweaty and winded — so walk down the stairs at the end of the day! InMovement states that taking the stairs is also a great way to build up leg strength.

3. Take your next long phone call outside

talking-on-phone

Yes, people still recreationally talk on the phone. Next time you want to keep in touch with a friend or family member, find a nice walkable path with good reception. Your loved one will appreciate the fact that you reached out, and you’ll get a healthy dose of exercise. It’s a win-win.

4. Park far away

cars-parking

If it’s a bright sunny day without any rain or snow in the forecast, consider parking your car far away from work. Not only will you get more steps, but you’ll also have a little more time to enjoy the nice weather and fresh air before walking into the office. If you get used to your longer stroll in, you might continue the habit during weekends out, as well.

5. Go down every aisle of the grocery store

5. Go down every aisle of the grocery store

This may be tricky if you shop during a busy time, but if the place isn’t too jammed, it’s a great way to get in a nice walk while completing an errand. As a bonus, you’ll learn where everything is in the store! That’ll save you some time in the future if you happen to have specific items like olives and sun-dried tomatoes on your list.

6. Walk a full block around the building you need to go in

walking-building

Unless you’re running late to an appointment, take a walk around the block before you go in. This is even better if you’re about to have an important meeting that you’re anxious about, since walking can help calm your nerves.

7. Think about installing a walking desk at work

woman-working

If you decide to get a walking desk, you might end up being a trendsetter at your office. Walking desks allow you to stay productive while staying active. Just make sure to give your boss a heads up before you buy one — they’ll be happy that you’re making your health a priority, but your officemates should know what to expect.

8. Find a walking buddy

walking-friends

Whether it’s a friend in the neighborhood or someone you work with, walking with someone else makes it more fun. The two of you can even create a schedule that’ll help make sure your walking paths are different every time. As adults, it can be hard to find face time with friends. With a walking buddy, you’re also getting the social exercise you need.

9. Buy special shoes that you'll only wear during walks

walking-boots

What is the benefit of new shoes if you can’t wear them? Invest in your health by investing in a nice, comfy pair of walking shoes. Make a promise to yourself that you only get to wear them when you’re out and about. If you’re excited about wearing the shoes, you’ll also be excited about getting out for a walk.

10. Plan a hike

couple-hiking-walking

There are so many benefits to hiking, especially when it’s not too hot outside. It’s a great way to free your mind from screens and enjoy the great outdoors. It’s also a great way to get in some steps without actually realizing it. Hiking is fantastic for your mind, body, and pedometer.

11. Go to the mall

clothing-rack-mall

Take a trip to your local mall and consider leaving your credit cards at home. That way, you can just focus on what’s happening around you without spending money you wouldn’t have spent otherwise. Going to the mall is a great opportunity to walk indoors (which means you can go when the weather is bad), and since you’re surrounded by so many fun stores and displays, you won’t even realize you’re getting exercise.

12. Find a podcast you love

pocdast-earbuds

There are so many podcasts out there that it’s hard to find the time to listen to them all. Instead of viewing it as a walk, look at your stroll as the perfect time to catch up on your favorite show! It’s a great habit to get into after work, since it’ll help you unwind and leave you feeling entertained.