Walking is one of the easiest exercises around, especially for pregnant women and mums who donít have a lot of time to spare for the gym.
You can walk anywhere at any time with a pram or baby in a carrier. Plus, itís practically free Ė all you need is appropriate footwear.
You may have seen the old advertising campaigns suggesting the average person needs 10,000 steps for good health. Although this is a general guideline to get people moving, it just sounds like so many steps! Personally I donít track my steps with a pedometer app because I donít take my phone everywhere I go, but I do try and move as much as possible during the day.
I discovered some sneaky ways to get more walking into my daily routine during pregnancy, even when I was tired. Which was all the time! Anyone can adopt these techniques and they may soon become habits.
Look at your commute to and from work. If you take the train or a bus, consider walking some of the way. Or instead of going directly to work, find an alternative, slightly longer route that will keep you walking for a bit longer.
If you do plan to walk some of the way, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Yes, even if you are wearing your best-tailored suit. (If you are the immaculately-presented mother who doesnít have vegemite on her suit when she leaves the house, please tell me your secrets.) For added convenience, leave a pair of black shoes at the office so you donít have cart them back and forth.
The workplace is a haven for extra steps. I would always take the long way to the toilet. If you think this sounds like time wasting, well, everyone has to pee at some stage during the day (pregnant women more so than others.) You may as well get some extra mileage out of this inevitable commute and it will only take an extra few seconds or minute out of your day, maximum.
Stairs. Need I say more? If you work on the 22nd floor, then thatís probably a bit much. Instead, consider taking the lift to level 12 and walking up the rest.
At lunchtime, go for a short walk outside of your office. It helps to have a destination, such as a park or a shop, so that walking doesnít feel like such a chore. The fresh air and exercise may even help you feel a little more energised before the 3:00PM slump hits.
If you drop the kids off at school, consider walking some of the way if possible, or walk them to school and pick them up (and vice versa).
For some people, shopping is an easy way to walk a lot. For me, itís a matter of get in, get out. I do, however, walk a complete lap of the centre before heading to the supermarket. Another sneaky method is to bring in one bag at a time from the car.
As you can see, it really is that simple to find sneaky ways and means to walk more during your day and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
What tips and tricks do you use to increase your daily steps?
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.