When you work from home, getting your steps in can be a true challenge. (I know what I’m talking about—I’ve been working from home for years!) You only need to walk five feet to the kitchen, the bathroom is right down the hall, and there’s really no need to go anywhere. Plus, with all the work on your plate, it’s hard not to be stationary most of the day. But when it comes to your health and well-being, moving is a must.
According to Alain Saint-Dic, personal trainer and head of training and development at Stretch Relief, walking is the most basic and accessible form of exercise you can do to stay fit and healthy, no matter where you are. While the suggested daily average for adults of approximately 10,000 steps a day can seem nearly impossible when you’re stuck indoors, there are some creative ways to get them in when your space is limited.
How to get in your daily steps from home without a treadmill
1. Have a dance party
Who says you can’t have a dance party all by yourself? It might feel weird for a few seconds, but after you fire up a good playlist and start busting out your go-to moves, you’ll be working up a sweat and racking up those steps. “Dancing is one of the absolute best ways to get your step count up when you’re in a smaller space,” says Saint-Dic. “Pick a few songs and really go for it, or try matching music video choreography moves on YouTube.”
The Fitness Marshall is a great place to start for easy-to-follow dance workouts that hardly feel like work at all. You can also try beginner dance cardio with this video from trainer Amanda Kloots:
2. Jumping rope without a rope
You don’t need an actual jump rope to reap the many benefits of the activity. “Whether you have an actual jump rope or not, pretending like you’re training for your next fight to the backdrop of a Rocky montage is sure to get your step count up,” says Saint-Dic. It will only take a minute for your heart to start pounding.
3. Make it a competition
If you have friends who are trying to up their steps too, engage in a friendly competition. Create a goal together—however many steps you want to hit every day—then see who does the best job of hitting it after a week. It not only helps you stay connected when you’re apart, but it also serves as even more motivation to get moving. If you both have an Apple Watch, you can actually do the competition right through your app. It takes care of calculating all the points for you—which are based on how well you fill up your activity rings—and lets you know who wins at the end.
4. Do a home walk-through
To make sure you’re getting up and moving throughout the day, Saint-Dic recommends doing a walk-through that has you doing different exercises at certain stopping points. “Commit to doing an apartment walk-through on the hour,” he says. “Do a different exercise at each doorway, like high knees, lunches, Brazilian twists, and lateral lunges.” You’ll get some steps in and get your blood pumping in the process.
5. Set stand reminders
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get in the habit of sitting for hours without even standing up once. Luckily, most fitness trackers—whether it’s an Apple Watch or Fitbit—allow you to set a stand reminder that encourages you to get up and walk around. Just imagine all the extra steps you can get in if you make it a point to move around at least once an hour.
6. Amazon Prime a workout step platform
If you want to step things up—literally—Amazon Prime over a workout step platform, like this option from Tone Fitness ($27). When you don’t have steps in your building you can run or walk up and down, it’s a simple way to up your step count while standing in place. And the best part? You can do it while watching your favorite Netflix shows.
7. Feel free to pace
Pacing isn’t always seen as a good thing, but when you’re stuck at home, it’s a great way to get your body moving. “You may spend a bit more time on the phone when you’re home, as in-person encounters and meetings are off the table,” he says. “Try to take your calls while pacing back and forth, rather than staying in a seated or lying position.”
8. Take advantage of Online workouts
It’s so easy to stream workouts from home. The coolest boutique fitness classes have online classes available. Try popular options like Pvolve, Sky Ting, Barry’s Bootcamp, Pure Barre, and many more. No matter what your workout interests or goals are, there’s a perfect fit for everyone.
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