Sick of leading a sedentary lifestyle? Make the most of your days by incorporating some simple activities to clock up your steps. Here’s how to get 10,000 steps a day – every day!

Step counts. Whether you choose to use a humble clip-on pedometer, a snazzy smart watch or a smartphone app, many of us track our step counts every day, hoping to reach that all-important goal of 10,000 steps.

Where did the 10,000 steps per day goal originate from?

According to the BBC, the famous 10,000 daily step goal dates back to a marketing campaign shortly before the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, when a company sold a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps and “kei” meaning meter. Owing to the success of this product, 10,000 became the go-to steps-per-day figure.

But how can we get to 10,000 steps a day? If you’re new to walking – and you lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle – you might feel slightly intimidated by that magic number of 10,000. But fear not – achieving 10,000 steps per day does not mean you need to start going on daily hikes. In fact, there are plenty of quick, simple activities you can incorporate into your daily schedule that can help you clock up your steps and reach your target…

How to get 10,000 steps a day (every day!)

Want to learn how to get 10,000 steps in every day? Below, we’ve rounded up some simple activities that you can seamlessly fit into your schedule, along with how many steps they will add to your total…

1. Go for a walk in the morning

3,000 steps

Start the day with a brisk walk before breakfast. It will boost your mood, give you energy and you’ll have plenty of steps on your tracker before the day’s even begun.

2. Stroll around the shops

2,500 steps

Everyday tasks can seriously boost your step count without you even realise. When you pop to the shops, just think about how many aisles you walk up and down! To increase your step tally even more, why not walk to the your favourite store, or simply park a little further way from the shops than usual.

3. Get cooking

200 steps

Cooking a hearty meal from scratch will provide your body with some healthy nutrition – plus, it’s also a great way to tally up your steps. You may not realise it at the time, but it’s amazing how those small trips across the kitchen from sink to fridge to cooker all add up and contribute to your daily step total!

4. Dance to your favourite tunes

1,500 steps

Doing a boogie to some feel-good tunes is a great way to benefit both your physical and mental health. Night out planned? Then hit the dance floor. Staying in? Put on your favourite songs on and dance with the kids or by yourself – remember, nobody’s watching!

5. March while on the phone

500 steps

Take the opportunity to catch up with friends or family on the phone, but walk around the house or march on the spot while you do so. This may sound a bit silly, but it all counts towards your total.

6. Play in the park

2,000 steps

Get the whole family out in the fresh air with a trip to the park. Join in with any games the kids play, or enjoy walking around and seeing spring arrive. If you’re a dog owner, get your dog out for a walk and play together when you arrive. You’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget about your step count as it continues to climb in the background.

7. Have a quick tidy up

300 steps

No one wants to spend the whole day cleaning. But give the house a 30-minute tidy and hoover and you’ll see your step total rise as you dash up and down the stairs and in and out of different rooms. Plus, by doing a quick burst of cleaning every day, you’re more likely to keep on top of household chores, rather than letting thing pile up (literally!).

If you’re quick with maths, you’ll notice that the above activities add up to a total of 10,000 steps! So, if you want to reach your daily step goal, simply include these quick (and often fun!) activities into your daily schedule and you’ll be well on your way to improving your health, fitness and wellbeing.

Related: How to be healthy and active in an office job