One great way to step up your step count

A large group of men walking through a corn field

As a fitness trainer with a decade of experience, I often tell my clients one of the most powerful ways to improve health is walking.

We’re recommended to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, which is about five miles. It sounds like a lot, but the majority of us can – and definitely should – be hitting this achievable target. With all the trackable technology like Fitbits, Apple watches and phone apps, it’s very easy to follow your day to day movements. But it’s also all too easy to find an excuse not to step up to the challenge.

There’s plenty of reasons we don’t get results or stick with exercise, regardless of our positive intentions. Why don’t we keep things simple and balance our lives around the change we want? Well, for one, there are only so many hours in the day, so we yearn for the short term fixes!

We know doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results doesn’t work. So let’s change this!

Start off by owning the basics – that’s getting a good night’s sleep, healthy eating, a change of environment, exercise, and importantly fun.

From there, the next step is honestly assessing your start point and establishing realistic goals in the areas you know need improvement.

Once you have an awareness of what you’re currently doing (or not doing!), you can set yourself a realistic walking regime, which only gets easier, and even a little addictive, counting those steps and keeping track of your progress.

Stepping up your step count

A phone displays step count information via an exercise app

It’s 9pm and you’re pacing the landing trying to make up that magic number on your Fitbit. But there are plenty of other ways to reach your step count goals.

Whether it’s taking the stairs, parking in the furthest car park space, or just consciously making an effort to walk with friends, partners, and children. I personally like to put on a podcast and just start walking.

If you are struggling to increase your step count, having a goal to work towards can be a great way to stay motivated. I’d really recommend booking onto an event. This gives you a challenge, a purpose, and it’s the best way to increase your step count.

Get motivated with a charity walk

A group of six women walking in a field wearing t-shirts that say "RidgeWalk 52 Miles in 24 Hours"

If you want to go one step further, then do an event for charity. Nothing gives purpose, or makes you stick at something more than fundraising for a charitable cause. And believe me, when people start sponsoring you for an event, it’s far less tempting to pull out!

There are so many charity events you can do these days, and plenty of awesome charities. One fantastic event I’m involved in this summer, is Sense’s Ridgewalk.

The RidgeWalk challenges you to walk 52 miles in 24 hours across the Oxfordshire countryside. Right now I’m giving my top training tips and motivating the incredible fundraisers who’ve already signed up and started their walking plan.

Some of the fundraisers tell me they’re walking home from work together, or getting out and about in their local parks or woodland. Some are total beginners, and others are using it as a midway goal before setting off on bigger treks later in the year.

There’s no doubt walking 52 miles in 24 hours is pretty hardcore, but it’s a fantastic goal to keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.

A charity walk gives you direction and purpose, and if you do it for Sense, you’ll be helping Sense support children and adults who have sensory impairments or complex communication needs.

We’re capable of far more than we think, so be brave and book yourself on a charity event like the RidgeWalk, and step up to the challenge in 2018!

Give yourself a goal to stay motivated. Step up to the RidgeWalk and join hundreds of people this June as they take on 52 miles in 24 hours.

Author: Phil Roberton

Phil is a fitness professional. He supports Sense events participants with training tips, plans and coaching sessions.

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