How to Keep Your Step Count Up During the Cold Season

monday-blogs-2As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, one of the first fitness goals I set for myself a few years ago when I wanted to get back into shape was to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

Reaching this goal was much easier for me in the beginning when the weather was nice. A long, leisurely walk in autumn or spring could easily get me halfway or more to my goal before I even realized what was happening.

The cold season was an entirely different story, though. It was difficult at first to find ways to stay active when the streets were covered in icy slush and the outside temperatures were frigid.

This is a tricky time of year even now that my daily goal is much higher than 10,000 steps. With winter only about five weeks away, it’s time to start dusting off some of these tips again and preparing to stay active indoors until spring arrives again.

Today I wanted to share some of the tricks I’ve discovered over the last few years that help me reach my step count goals even when the weather is frightful. I hope that you’ll find them helpful, too. Let me know in the comment section below what you think of them.

Break Big Shopping Trips Into Smaller Ones

The cool thing about aiming for a specific step count goal is that every single step you take counts toward it. You definitely do not have to break a sweat every time you want to add to your tally.

One of the things I liked to do when I first started counting my steps was to chop up big grocery shopping trips into smaller excursions. I might have picked up milk, produce, and canned goods on Monday, and then gone back to the store on Tuesday for bread, meat, and frozen stuff.

It especially helps if you don’t shop for stuff that is all located in the same area of the store for that day’s trip! If you’re able to stick to your shopping list, this can be a great way to increase your step counts while still staying within your food budget.

Depending on how close your store is to your home and how many aisles you walk up and down, you could add several hundred to several thousand steps every day.

monday-blogs-1Go to the Mall

Malls are temperature-controlled, well-lit, and usually pretty safe places to visit.

There are almost always many other people around, especially at this time of year when the Christmas shopping season is starting to pick up speed.

While I strongly prefer to exercise outdoors, I can’t deny the fact that malls give people a convenient and casual gathering place if they’re looking to add more steps to their step counter or do some window shopping.

I know people who absolutely love walking around in this environment as well. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend doing it once if you live near a mall.

You may love it. You may be like me and not enjoy it so much. The only way to know for sure is to give it a shot, though.

This usually add two or three thousand steps to my count.

Pace Around While Doing Chores

If you’re waiting for a pot of water to start bubbling, walk around in circles in the kitchen.

If you’re waiting for the washing machine to buzz so you can switch your clothing over to the dryer, walk back and forth at your laundromat or in your basement until it’s finished.

If you’re vacuuming, dance a little jig to add in a few extra steps when you turn the corner or pull the vacuum to another room.

These are only a few of the many ways to add small amounts of movement int your life while you’re doing other things that also need to be accomplished.

They might not seem like they’d add up to much individually, but I’ve been surprised by how much they add up at the end of the day.

I generally add one thousand to three thousand steps to my tally on the days when I use this trick.

monday-blogs-4Walk to a TV Show

This is by far my biggest tip for people who seriously want to increase their step count but who’ve come to the end of their day without getting as much accomplished as they’d hoped.

Be sure to put down a yoga mat or something similar to that if you have hardwood floors before you try this one.

What I do is I march in place while watching whatever show it is that I’ve been looking forward to seeing today. You can do it as slowly or as quickly as you desire.

At a slow march, I can add three or four thousand steps this way in forty minutes or so. If I pick up the speed, I can double that number.

The right show will suck me into the storyline so completely that I barely even notice that I’m walking at the same time.


What are some of your favourite ways to add more movement in your day when the weather outdoors isn’t great?

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