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Wellness

10 ways to walk 10,000 steps (or more!) in a day without even really trying at all

Squeezing in daily exercise doesn't get easier than this.

There's much more on the path to fitness and good health than clocking 10,000 steps daily. But if you're a fitness newbie or recovering from a sports injury, it's a good way to squeeze in the recommended daily 30 minutes of moderate exercise without having to hit a gym or overextending yourself. 

The only thing is, hitting the coveted figure can be a little tougher than it seems. Personally, it'd take me a 45-minute morning HIIT session, followed by a 10-minute walk from my gym to the train station, another 15-minute walk from the train station to the Mediacorp office, an entire day of periodically traipsing around the campus (you will not believe how long it takes to walk from my seat to on-campus food court), the walk back to the train station, and then the walk home from the station, before I can comfortably clock the big 10,000. Some days, I stay glued to my seat a tad too much, and I'd find myself at a measly 8-9k. And then I'd feel unreasonably upset about having wasted an entire day. I have issues. 

To help you achieve your target with less angst and drama, Li Choo Kwek-Perroy, Chief Customer Officer of Manulife Singapore has kindly suggested 10 nifty ways that will help move the counter on your fitness tracker that much quicker, without you having to put in much effort at all. 

1. Reboot your mindset: "Every time you feel reluctant to exercise, remind yourself of why moving more is important to you - whether it’s fitting into that pair of old jeans or simply trying to build up your stamina so you don’t wheeze every time you climb the stairs to get lunch. It also helps to put appointments in your calendar for small blocks of time to get up and get moving instead of trying to squeeze a big block of time at the end of your day to exercise."

2. Switch up your date nights: "Swap dinner and a movie for a picnic and a hike.  Lower Pierce Reservoir offers a tranquil 900m boardwalk through a forest with a brilliant view of the lake, while Bukit Panjang's Glow in the Dark park has a 100m-long trail at the Rail Corridor."

3. Take the stairs"If you dread the thought of an evening run around the park, make small adjustments like taking the stairs at the MRT instead. Not only will you avoid the dreaded congestion, you’ll also get some steps in while you’re at it!"

4. Move more at work – "Instead of filling your glass to the brim at work, fill it halfway so you have to regularly get up from your desk for a refill. Have a meeting with just one other colleague? Consider taking your brainstorm outdoors and going for a stroll or power walk together. The change in scenery might just provide the inspiration you need to come up with the next great proposal."

5. Ditch the food delivery "Use the quest for a good lunch as a reason to go further. Once a week, take a walk outside your usual launch haunts – you might just find your new favourite restaurant!"

6. Make it a girl’s night out – "Round up your girlfriends and go for a night of dancing, or head to your favourite mall and shop your way around every floor to clock more steps."

7. Find an activity you enjoy – "Make exercising something to look forward to by trying out different exercise classes. Whether it’s barre, yoga, kickboxing or spinning, you’re bound to find something you like."

8. Recruit a furry friend – "Take your buddy out for a walk or even organise a doggie day out at the park and have fun while you move. Don’t have a furry friend of your own? Volunteer to take your bestie's dog out for a walk."

9. Track your progress "It’s always a good feeling to see how much we’ve achieved. A survey by Manulife found that 1 in 2 Singaporeans track their sporting activity using apps or smartwatches. Give yourself a tangible way to gauge your efforts by downloading a fitness app or getting yourself a snazzy new wearable. Most also have friendly reminders to give you that extra nudge to move."

10. Treat yo’self – "All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. Set small goals and reward yourself along the way - whether it’s getting a pedicure or a tasty (low fat!) froyo."

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