20 Jan 5 Ways To Make Your Steps More Interesting
NEAT, NEAT, NEAT and NEAT!
Before you go any further, if you haven’t read ‘The Fat Loss Game Changer: Track Your Steps To 10x Your Results’, make that your first priority. It’ll give you a greater insight into why tracking your steps and paying attention to NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is so critically important for fat loss.
In this article, we’re going to dive into the best strategies to make achieving your step counts more interesting. There will be a point en route to your first Transformation Checkpoint where your step targets will be high, and with this can sometimes bring with it an element of challenge, boredom and in some cases, complacency to overlook its importance.
We can all sympathise as coaches, as we’ve all been there ourselves. Achieving 15 to 20,000 steps a day for weeks on end can become laborious when you’re in the Grind, but it’s never an excuse.
The first step is to change your mindset. If you’re calling it boring, laborious, a challenge, etc., you’ve already made it harder than it should be. You have to shift from ‘I have to do 20,000 steps’ to ‘I’m going to do 20,000’. Once you’ve done this, the next step is to make it fun, and here are my top five tips to do so:
1) Make It A Game Amongst Friends & Family
Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition, right?
Why not up the ante of your peer level accountability by setting up a leaderboard and making it a challenge between your friends and family.
We’ve had a few instances of members of the RNT Family creating one within our private Facebook page and it’s always interesting to see how hard you can push it when you know your results will be shared on a daily basis online!
I always reflect on a story of a client of ours who set up a competition with two other clients to see who could do the most steps over a four week period. Each went absolutely crazy to the point one person was doing 30,000 steps a day and walked so much he complained about his knees hurting! Of course, I had to curb his enthusiasm, but it’s no coincidence he also dropped 8kg in this period of time, and a total of 40kg in the course of 20 weeks in total to his first Checkpoint!
You can set up these competitions or challenges through the FitBit app, or simply post a thread in a Facebook or WhatsApp group.
When in doubt, raise the stakes!
2) Pick New Locations and Plan With MapMyWalk App
I found this app when I was planning different walking routes during some sightseeing in New York. It allowed me to plan a walk from the 9/11 memorial to Brooklyn Bridge, past Madison Square Gardens, and all the way back to Times Square, while giving me the total distance and best walking routes.
This is a great idea for when you’re in new locations, or you want to switch it up with new routes to kill any potential boredom on your existing ones. A cool feature for when you want something quick and simple without the decision fatigue is to find other people’s routes they’ve posted, especially when you’re in an area you don’t know too much about.
3) Step Loading
Life happens, and there will be a few instances where you may not reach your target on a daily basis. That’s okay, because like calories, you can look at steps on a weekly average too.
This means that if you’ve had a few days of falling short because life got in the way, you need to really dial in on your ‘dead periods’ of the week and hammer them in to bring your average up.
More ‘dead periods’ include your breaks at work, before work, or at the weekends, and utilising these periods to add anywhere between 1-4,000 steps as a way to bring your average can be useful. What you don’t want to fall into the trap of though is making it all about the weekends, and getting carried away with blasting the majority here. If you’re not used to it, and you go from a mere 8,000 on the weekdays to 20,000+ on the weekends, there may be some implications on your joints (think back to the example earlier of our client who complained about his knees!).
Where this strategy is better suited is for those of you who may be on the road or travelling a ton for a few days a week, and you know reaching a high step target on these days isn’t going to happen. In these scenarios, you simply plan to ‘step load’ on other days to make the gap.
4) Gamify Your Days
As humans we love to work by reward. If you set your day up in a way where you have to achieve X to get Y, you can quickly gamify your daily routine to make reaching your step target more interesting.
If you know you have to clock in 4,000 before you eat breakfast, it’ll up the ante. If you know you have to clock in 1,000 every time you finish a 90 minute block of work (this is a great way to rack up a lot of steps in the day without realising), it builds momentum through your day. There’s multiple ways to play with this, and the key is to make it a game to work by reward.
AV’s Step Stacker Secret
I asked Akash what his favourite way to make steps interesting when on the #VaghelaGrind, and he answered:
“Outside of building it into my days and creating a relentless structure, system and strategy around achieving the target, there are days where it feels horrendous putting one step in front of another while you’re in a state of very low body fat.
My favourite trick is to change my social strategy. During periods of hard dieting, and even as a year-round tactic to stay in shape, I love going for a walk with family and friends. Instead of catching up over food and drink, I’ll always try to go for a walk outside instead. It makes you all feel good, you’re not distracted by food and drink, and it’s a brilliant way to connect.
Think about a 60 to 120 minute ‘catch up’ walk with a friend or family member during the depths of the #VaghelaGrind – that’s easily 6-12,000 steps done, and you probably won’t even realise it!”
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