• Michael Mclaren

An Alternative To Step Counting?

I think most of us will now know the value, in being more active outside of a gym environment.


Your time spent in a gym is far outnumbered by the your time away from it, so it’s easy to see how increasing your activity outside of the gym can play a key role in helping you to lose weight.


Not too mention, it’s just really good for you to move!


One of the most common ways to measure activity is step counting.


Whether you use a Fitbit style watch, or even an app on your phone, it’s a good way to see some solid numbers in your effort to move more.


But, like pretty much everything relating to weight loss, it’s not for everyone.


So, how can you measure and continue to be mindful of increasing your activity, without counting steps?


One thing I’ve found particularly useful with clients recently, is to spend some time identifying the opportunities that present themselves each day to you, to be more active.


Its best to try and notice things you’re not already doing on a daily basis.


Step 1


Identify “opportunities” in your day to day routine, that could be used to be more active.


Working on the 5th floor? Could you take the stairs?


Do you go to the gym after work? Could you walk?


Do you go for a coffee at lunchtime? Could you go to the next furthest away coffee shop for an extra few minutes of walking?


The more of these opportunities you can spot, the easier this will be, as you’ll have more options to take.


Some examples of possible activities you're not already doing.


Keep in mind, you’ll not be doing these EVERY day, so don’t be afraid to be adventurous with it.


Step 2


Once you have your list, the idea now is to simply make sure you do one of them every day.


These should be things that you’re not already doing remember, so anything you do end up doing on any given day, will more than likely result to you being more active than you would have been previously.


Walking to work might seem daunting everyday, but, this allows you to simply pick one day of the week to do so.


The 10 flights of stairs in your apartment building might provoke the same amount of hesitancy, but again, you’re only doing these things once a day.


As long as one of them gets done each day, then you're progressing!


Step 3


Managed to nail this down for a couple of consecutive weeks?


Why not look to do at least one thing for 6 days of the week, and then pick at least TWO things to do on the 7th day.


Once that’s been ticked off for a couple of weeks, add in a 2nd day that you’ll do 2 things from the list.


You probably get where this is going..


My favourite thing about this approach is that it straight away provides you with some mindfulness and awareness around your activity levels, by getting you thinking at the beginning about your own situation, and not necessarily trying to implement any generic “rules”. This should be making it loads easier in the long run.


And, unlike step counting, I feel this approach really allows you to form some proper habits.


(Admit it, we’ve all paced around the living room at night trying to get the last few steps and reach a nice even 10,000..)


Ok, maybe that was just me.


But, both methods work!


I just wanted to share something I’ve found to work well recently, and hopefully it can help you move more too!


Michael

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