It’s as simple of putting one foot in front of the other. Walking has numerous benefits — it can help you clear your mind after a long day, and it is one form of exercise that can help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Regular brisk walks can help you stay fit and healthy by preventing heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Stephen Voyce, co-director of the Heart & Vascular Institute at Geisinger Community Medical Center. “If you’re walking at a brisk pace, you should be breathing harder than normal, but still able to speak in full sentences.”

If that’s not reason enough to try to get more steps in during your day, you may also be encouraged by a wellness program at work that promotes use of fitness trackers.

Whether you’re just interested in getting more exercise, or whether you’re aiming for that 10,000 step goal, here are some ways to get extra steps in your day:

Take the stairs

If you work in a multi-floor office building, you’re out shopping in a department store for the day, or you’re just running errands, take the stairs when you can. They’ll likely be less crowded than escalators and elevators, and you’ll increase your heart rate and work large muscles in your legs, which help your whole body burn more calories.

Hold a walking meeting

If you sit at a desk for most of your workday, ask colleagues to meet you for a “walking meeting” instead of taking up a conference room.

Taking a walk while you meet with colleagues stimulates the brain and promotes creative thought.  

Park further away

We’re all driven by a need to find the closest parking spot no matter where we drive. But to get more steps in, look at those massive parking lots in a new light: a way to challenge yourself and increase your steps.

Choose a parking spot near the outer edge of the grocery store or mall lot and force yourself to walk the extra steps to get there. If you are carrying groceries, for example, you’ll get some light lifting in, too.

Set hourly reminders


Studies show that it’s best to take short breaks while working stay focused and even retain information. So what better way to fill that break than with a short walk?

“By setting reminders you might find yourself being more productive throughout the day because you got your body moving while giving your mind a rest,” said Dr. Voyce.

Follow the mile rule

If where you’re going is under a mile away, you can add steps to your day by walking to your destination. Whether it’s work, school or a trip to your dentist, if it’s nearby, put some comfortable shoes on and give yourself extra time to walk. Just remember to stick to the sidewalks and walk in well-lit areas if it’s dark.