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10 Ways To Get 10,000 Steps When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside

In the winter, it's hard to hit your step goal. Don't worry. Here are some tips to get 10,000 steps when it's cold from’m pretty inactive. I work at home and my office is the room next to our bedroom. Plus, I blog for a living, so I sit all day long. It’s bad, I know, but it’s part of the job. So when I started wearing my grandma’s Fitbit last month, I really started getting conscious of how many steps I’m walking — or not walking. I’ve been pushing myself to get my steps goal, which seems like it would be a lot easier if I wasn’t starting this task in the winter. Sometimes, it’s just too cold to go outside and walk around. So you have to be creative. Trust me, I’ve started being creative. And I’m here to share my tips. Because even if it seems daunting, you can still get 10,000 steps when it’s cold.

10 Ways To Get 10,000 Steps When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside

1. Run in place.

I’m starting with this one because it’s been my go to move lately. If I see that I’m short steps, or if my Fitbit buzzes to tell me I haven’t walked 250 steps that hour (which happens more often than I’d like to admit), I will get up and run in place. I try and do it during the day when I’m home alone so there’s no banging on the floor when Pete is downstairs and I’m in the office. This works great for me because I wear my Fitbit on my wrist. If you wear yours in your bra, it might not work as well.

2. Phone a friend.

Like everyone else, I mostly text my friends. But, lately, people have wanted to call. I can’t sit and work when I’m on the phone, so I get up and start to walk around the house. Just make sure you aren’t holding your phone up to your ear with the same side that you’re activity tracker is on. It won’t track very well that way.

3. Pace when you brush your teeth.

As soon as I started wearing the Fitbit, I started to pace when I was brushing my teeth. It sounds weird, but I was like, “I’m just standing here.” It felt like such a waste. So I started to pace our bathroom. I’m lucky that we have a really, really long bathroom, so it’s really easy.

4. Go shopping.

Who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping? Trying to get 10,000 steps when it’s cold out is hard. But if you can make it from your home to your car, drive to the mall. You can window shop while walking around the whole mall. I remember working retail and watching people come do laps in the early mornings. It was a great way to get some exercise in a place that is heated.

5. Take the stairs.

Do you live or work in a building with an elevator and stairs? Take the stairs. Even if it’s just one floor up. I used to do this all the time at my last office job. Those steps added up. If you work at home like me, force yourself to go up and downstairs as often as possible. Instead of grabbing everything I need to bring downstairs all at once, I take one thing at a time so I can get in a few trips up and down the stairs.

6. Watch TV.

Okay, stay with me here. Watching TV usually means you park your booty on the couch and veg out. That’s fun and all, but not really helpful if you’re trying to get healthy. So sure, sit and watch TV. But on each commercial break, get up and walk around until the show comes back on. This doesn’t exactly work if you’re binge watching Netflix, but it’s good with regular TV.

7. Use the bathroom furthest from you.

I work in the room next to our bedroom. The office is next to the guest bathroom. And then our bedroom has the master bathroom. So any bathroom is pretty close. We do have a third bathroom downstairs, on the opposite side of the house. It is, obviously, a lot further than the other too … which means more steps. Those steps add up (especially if you’re also trying to drink eight glasses of water a day).

8. Put your clothes away one piece at a time.

When you do laundry, you probably fold it, make piles of items that go in the same drawer/room, and then put them away. Instead of putting your clothes away in bulk, put them away one piece at a time. Not effective for life, but very effective for steps.

What I do, honestly, is put them away in bunches — not one piece at a time. So I’ll fold into piles (long sleeved shirts, pants, pajamas, etc.), and then put the piles away one by one. It’s a lot more steps than if I put them away all at once, but also more effective than putting them away shirt by shirt.

9. Vacuum.

I never minded vacuuming (although, since we got a robot vacuum, I haven’t missed vacuuming one bit).

If I could redesign our house, though, I wouldn’t have chosen carpet on the stairs. We did it because it is a lot quieter when people go up and down the stairs, but it’s a pain in the neck to vacuum.

The stairs need to be vacuumed, as do both our upstairs and downstairs since we have carpet on both floors. I enjoy it because for some strange reason, it’s fun for me. Also because it’s so much walking around the rooms, so that’s a lot of steps.

10. Get stuff for yourself/spouse/kids. 

How often do you need something — a drink you forgot in another room, to turn on the fan after you’re laying down — and you ask someone else to help you (aka do it for you)? Instead, do it yourself. Stand up and walk to the other room to grab a paper towel. If your spouse needs a drink, offer to get up and get it for him — all while getting closer to your 10,000 steps.

How do you get 10,000 steps when it’s cold?

Want more tips for getting 10,000 steps?

Heather Frampton

Saturday 22nd of October 2022

Thanks for the whole 10 Ways to get 10,000 steps..." series! 😁


Sunday 5th of February 2017

I have nicknamed the route that is the kitchen to the living room to the dining room (which leads back to the kitchen) the KLD track. I put my headphones on and walk. One song is about 4 minutes, so 5 songs is just about 2o minutes. But promising to walk for 5 songs sounds so much better. If the music is good enough, I fort lost in it making those laps.

Jan Wild

Sunday 29th of January 2017

I am always surprised how many steps I get when I do the ironing, taking each item to be hung up as I go. It adds up (and it will keep you warm!)

Roseann Hampton

Sunday 29th of January 2017

Just wearing a fitbit definitely motivated me to get more steps!

Teri@The Freshman Cook

Saturday 28th of January 2017

My favorite way to get my steps in is to shop, just like you mentioned in step 4. We also have a dog who needs to go out several times a day and we walk around the house, so that helps me a lot! She gets exercise and so do I! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate It!