If you’re struggling to get in the recommended 10,000 steps per day because you have small kids at home, here are mom-specific 50 ways you might be able to fit more steps into your day!
So I’m kind of obsessed with my FitBit lately. I’ve had it for more than a year and use it fairly regularly, but something got me going in the last few weeks and I find myself doing more and more to get my step count higher. Taking walks outside have really come to be a calming thing for me — away from the noise of two toddlers (even if I take them, they’re pretty quiet in the stroller!), out in the sun, getting my blood pumping.
I am also talking with a few friends about doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It’s walking 39 miles over the course of two days (a marathon the first day, a half marathon the second). If so, I’m going to really need to step up (see what I did there?) my walking game!
No matter what activity tracker you have, getting more steps in per day can help you be more active, burn more calories, and stay in better shape. But it can be hard as a mom! Sometimes we feel like we’re stuck inside the house with our kiddos.
One of the keys is to make sure you’re wearing your fitness tracker in a way that it’ll actually capture your steps. There’s nothing worse than walk two miles with your stroller, FitBit on your wrist, just to realize that it didn’t count your steps because your arm wasn’t swinging. Same goes for a shopping cart. My easiest workaround is to strap my FitBit to my shoe. This assures your steps are counted!
There are so many ways to get your steps in every day, even if you have little kiddos.
Take More Steps as a Mom
- Go for a walk before your kids and husband get up
- Go for a walk after your kids have gone to bed
- Go for an after-dinner walk with the whole family
- Walk laps around the park while your kids play
- Walk your kids to school
- Take the dog for a walk
- Push your baby (or babies!) in a stroller
- When running errands, park as far away from the store’s door as possible
- Return your cart to the store instead of to a nearby corral
- Park in between two stores and walk to both
- Walk to nearby errands
- Carry your groceries inside one bag at a time
- Walk an extra lap around the store before checking out
- Walk around the block while your kids are at their activities (soccer, gymnastics, etc.)
- Vacuum or mop
- Mow the lawn or rake leaves
- Hang your laundry outside instead of using the dryer
- Read a book (or ebook) while pacing around your bedroom
- Pace while talking on the phone
- March in place while your kids are brushing and flossing
- Walk in place during commercial breaks
- Buy a comfortable pair of shoes to wear all day so you don’t have to put your shoes on to walk
- Set an hourly alarm and take at least 250 steps
- Walk around the block with your kids after lunch
- Spend 30 minutes tidying up the house
- Be inefficient putting away the laundry one item at a time
- Dance with your kids
- Dance by yourself!
- Play hide and seek with your kids
- Run around with your kids in the back yard
- Get off public transportation a stop or two early and walk the extra distance
- Find a walking buddy who has kids and walk together
- Walk while listening to an audio book or podcast
- Join fitness challenges and try and win
- Set daily benchmarks, like trying to get to 5000 steps before lunch
- Always take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
- March in place while waiting for bottles to heat up or food to cook
- Find a walking workout video on YouTube
- Do Zumba (so many steps!)
- Take a dance class with your kids
- Join a charity walk
- Sign up for a local walking tour
- Visit the zoo with your kids
- Go on a hike
- Hunt Pokemon
- Play a game like Ingress
- Double up on stairs — walk down and walk up one extra time with each trip
- Walk in short bursts on the treadmill — five minutes here and there
- Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car
- Invite a friend to lunch and then go for a walk afterward
Using a lot of these ideas, I’ve managed to walk at least 5 miles a day for two weeks. Most days I’m up closer to the 7 or 8 mile mark. I’ve lost a few pounds and regained some mental clarity by spending that time on myself — and it can’t hurt my boys to be out in the sunshine either!