Even if you aren’t a football fan, you probably saw that 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady won the Super Bowl last night. If he can do that, we can get our bodies moving, right? Today I’m sharing 6 ways to increase your step count each day! We can set reasonable movement goals for ourselves and meet them. It helps us stay strong and healthy for the people who need us!

This week’s sponsor: the TWOgether Marriage Conference from Rising Above Ministries. Join us on Feb. 26th for this event that will encourage you to keep your marriage strong!

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Feb. 8th ep. 58 6 Ways to Increase to Your Step Count

Hi friends, this is Self-Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver, and I’m your host Sandra Peoples. To us, self-care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. We need to take better care of ourselves so we can care for those God has entrusted to us.

This is episode 58, and today we’re talking about ways to increase your step count. Most of us have spent more time at home than we did in our pre-covid days, and if you’re like me, that meant more time sitting. Not necessarily a bad thing when the world is so unpredictable and out of your control. But all that extra sitting wasn’t the best for my physical health. And now that we’re in a good routine that’s a little bit closer to our pre-covid days, like my son James being in school on campus, it’s time to get moving again.

I have never been the work out type. I didn’t play any sports in school, unless you count my attempt at tennis in 8th grade, but I quickly figured out you were already supposed to know how they keep score in tennis if you expected to make the team. (sidenote: I still don’t know) But moving my body isn’t the same as playing a sport. And my favorite way to move my body is to walk.

I’ve gotten in a good habit of hitting my step count goal at least 5 days a week. I’ll be honest that my step count isn’t as high as most people’s. But it’s more steps than I was getting, so it’s a reasonable goal for me!

Today I’m sharing 6 ways to increase your step count! Hopefully it will encourage you to get more steps in this week!

  1. Create habit triggers – I know we talk about this all the time, but this is the easiest way for me to make it happen. What do you need to make it easier to hit your step count goal? Putting on tennis shoes, having the right clothes on, having a podcast downloaded—you can make all those steps habit triggers to set yourself up for success. I have a habit tracker printable I’ll link to in the shownotes to help you make it easy!
  2. Track it – You can use a fit bit, apple watch, or app on your phone if you carry your phone around most of the time. Tracking steps is a great way to know for sure if you’re meeting your goal or need to set a new one. If you don’t have a step tracker, set time goals for how long you walk or work out.
  3. Challenge someone – If you need a little competition to help you reach that goal, challenge a friend or family member! Or join a walking club in person or on social media. You don’t even have to have the same step count goal as the person you’re challenging. You could just compete to reach the goals you both have.
  4. YouTube videos – I know in most of the country Feb. is not the best month to get out there and exercise. In Houston it actually is a good month, but April-Sept is too hot. If the weather where you are isn’t ideal, you can still get steps in at home. My favorite way is by doing Jessica Smith TV YouTube videos. She has tons! And I’m sure there are lots of others! The good news about exercising with a video is that you don’t have to leave the house to meet your work out goals. That’s especially helpful for those staying safe right now.
  5. Set mini goals – There were plenty of times the day flew by and there was no way I could get enough steps in to hit the goal before bed. So I didn’t even try, even though I could have gotten 1,000 more steps even if that still didn’t meet my goal. So now I set a morning goal, an afternoon goal, and an evening goal. If I didn’t get enough steps in before 3:00, I stop working at that time and get more in before I pick up James from school. And if I’m not there by the evening, we take a walk around the neighborhood. It really helps me to spread them out!
  6. Stop being so efficient – a couple years ago my friend Dawn started working to increase her step count and take better care of her health. I asked her how she did it, and her answer made me laugh. She said she essentially stopped being so efficient. She parked further away in the parking lot and she took more steps at her house, just carrying one thing at a time when she put things away. As someone who loves efficiency, this goes against my instincts. But I live in a very small house. There’s just 15 steps between my desk and the kitchen. With a bathroom on the way. So in a normal work day, I’m not going much further than that unless I’m strategic about it by not being efficient. I also walk around the backyard when I’m on the phone because that’s where we get the best signal. And I’ve started walking in place when folding laundry and cooking dinner. I even got in some extra steps at church yesterday because I was moving so much when we sang! (It was more a side to side sway with a little step touch, but my watch counted it!) The point is, pay attention to when you can get more steps in and make it happen by being less efficient.

I hope some of these tips are helpful! Even if you aren’t a football fan, you probably saw that 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady won the Super Bowl last night. If he can do that, I can get 5,000 steps in a day, right? We can set reasonable movement goals for ourselves and meet them. It helps us stay strong and healthy for the people who need us!

Let’s end in prayer, friends.

God, thank You for the gift of our bodies that help us accomplish all you call us to do. Because You designed us, You care about us and our health. Help us this week to think about movement goals that make sense for our seasons of life and that will help us grow stronger with better endurance. Give us wisdom on how to make these goals work and endurance to meet them. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Alright friends, before our time today is over, I want to tell you about an upcoming virtual marriage conference you don’t want to miss from Rising Above Ministries:

We all know that being caregivers to someone with special needs is rewarding, but it can also come with its share of challenges. And often times, marriages suffer because there are so many other things that need our attention. That’s exactly why Rising Above Ministries created the TWOgether conference, a one-night virtual event, designed to encourage couples to keep fighting for their marriage. You’re invited to join other special-needs parents who understand the struggles and have seen God’s faithfulness through the tough times as they keep choosing each other. My husband Lee and I are two of the featured speakers, and we’d love to have you join us. Find out more at RisingAboveministries.org.

I hope you have a great week, friends! If you need some encouragement to get moving, you can connect with me on Instagram and I’ll share my walks with you! My user name is SandraPeoples. Thanks for listening!

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