I have been addicted to getting my steps in for about 6 years.
It started when my brother bought me my first FitBit for my birthday. To be honest, I left it in the box for a few months because I didn’t understand the point of it!
6 years ago, no one really talked about tracking steps + how important it is to hit 10K+ a day for good health.
I used it on + off for 2 years. No one I knew really stuck to using it either. So, it didn’t really motivate me to care how many steps I was taking.
But, about 4 years ago more + more people began to wear different types of bands that tracked the amount of steps they were taking. It definitely lit a fire under me! Some friendly competition.
At first, one of my best friends bought one. Then, my mother in law. Eventually, I bought one for my husband [who absolutely didn’t want one — but, now is addicted to his!].
I cannot emphasize enough how much surrounding yourself with others that are working on their health journey really helps you stay motivated along the way.
But, what has really taken my steps to the next level lately has been participating in step challenges with my friends + family!
Today, I am sharing:
- The benefits of friendly step challenges
- The band + app I use for challenges
- How to create a challenge group
- How I maximize my steps each challenge
HOW I USE STEP CHALLENGES TO MOVE MORE EACH WEEK
The benefits of friendly step challenges
MOTIVATES YOU TO MOVE MORE
In general, when you have people around you performing healthy habits, it definitely inspires you to be more aware of your behaviors. Especially if you choose to make a little game out of it with people in your life. It helps give you the will to want to work a little harder when going after your health goals!
I know getting your steps in isn’t the most exciting thing of the day. But, I have found that having friendly step challenges helps me have more awareness about how much I am moving. Because… who really wants to come in last place? Definitely not me!! When I check in + see I am slacking, it absolutely gets me on my feet + inspires me to make excuses to move more!
HELPS YOU MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
Have you ever gone out to dinner with people who order garbage? I am talking burgers, fries, apps, beers, dessert, etc. How hard is it to order healthy at those times? Super hard. But, if you go out with people ordering fish, salads, water, + coffee… you’re more opt to make choices that align with your goals!
Same goes for working out + getting your steps in. It’s a domino affect. Those that we are interacting with regularly (even if it’s just through an app!) definitely inspire us when it comes to each healthy choice we make every day.
STRENGTHENS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
In general, I am so much closer to friends of mine that are into their health + wellness (especially those on a mindset journey!). They just get me so much more when it comes to my goals, aspirations, + struggles I am having. I have found that having steps challenges with my closest friends + family have really brought us closer because we bond over our steps (corny… but, true)!
Might seem silly to some. But, just means they aren’t on the same journey (+ that’s totally fine!). In general, almost everyone aspires to workout more + eat healthier. When you come together + make moving more each day a part of your relationship, it allows you to have a deeper connection with each other because there is support + understanding fostered through it!
The band + app I use for step challenges
FITBIT ALTA BAND
Currently I have this FitBit + I love it! I have had this one for about 3 years. Before this one, I had the OG FitBit that isn’t made anymore (I don’t think!?).
Personally, I like this tracker best because it’s simple, withstands a lot of wear, + is pretty waterproof (even though it isn’t advertised as being waterproof). I put it through the laundry + it somehow still worked!
Here are some of FitBit’s options:
All of my friends/family in our challenge group all have FitBits because the challenge runs through FitBit’s app. I love it. It’s hardly every glitchy for me + everything is sooooooooo crazy simple.
There are many options to track various health habits + you can analyze your steps by year, month, week, day, + even by hour.
Here are some screenshots of the app to give you an idea:
How to create a challenge group
HOW TO CREATE ONE USING THE FITBIT APP
HERE is a link to the app.
- Click CHALLENGES on the bottom bar
- Choose your challenge under the subheading CHALLENGE
- Choose the time to begin
- Add friends
- Click START
MESSAGING STEP CHALLENGES
Don’t have a FitBit yet? No worries! You can track your steps using almost any smartphone. So, as long as it’s in your pocket, your steps should be counted! I mean… our phones are on most of us at all times anyways these days… right?
You + your friends can screenshot your steps each day in a group text message + have an old-fashion challenge that way! As simple challenge is better than nothing. But, for real… get a FitBit!
How I maximize my steps to try to win step challenges
WALK DURING MY LUNCH EVERY DAY AT WORK
You get usually an hour off for lunch during every job. Let’s be real, we never eat for the entire hour. Might as well walk! Even better, eat your lunch as you walk! I started walking during my lunch when I was pregnant a year ago + it seriously boosted my steps. Sometimes even just 20 minutes would bring me 2-3,000 steps!
It’s your downtime at work. So, you might as well make the best of it. Ask co-workers to join. You don’t realize how many people actually want to join until you ask! Sometimes I even like to just pop in some headphones, have some time alone, + I listen to a good podcast.
MAKE EXCUSES TO MOVE MORE
I broke down this tip in my post HERE about making small excuses throughout the day to walk more.
These have been some of my favorite the past few months:
- Park farther from wherever I have to walk.
- Carry folded laundry from my couch instead of using a bin (more trips!).
- Walking up + down the sidewalk while my daughter practices walking.
- 10 minutes of cleaning using a timer once a day (I move so fast with a timer!).
CHECK STEP STATS PERIODICALLY
Like any habit you want to make, you’ll move more when you actively check your step count throughout the day. That’s why I love my FitBit because I snap my wrist like I am looking at a watch + my step count appears!
It also helps to check the stats to whatever challenge(s) you’re doing so you can see if you need to get off of your little booty + move a bit more. Try not to get obsessive (we are just trying to have healthy/friendly competition!), but try to check in with your steps 5-10 times a day.
HAVE A WALKING SCHEDULE + OPTIONS
Things that get on your calendar are important. Right? So, do your best to jot down some appointments with yourself or others to walk for anywhere from 5-60 minutes! Better yet, if you can carve out the same time every single day, you’ll be way more willing to actually stick to it.
But, be sure to have flexible options. For example, on days I cannot walk outside because it’s raining, I go to a mall to walk or walk inside of my work building! Even a treadmill is a great idea. The more options you have lined up, the more opportunities you have to rack up those steps (+ shed some weight!).
- Related: HOW TO MOVE MORE EVERY DAY
- Choose a step tracking device (fitness tracker or just your phone). You can get my FitBit HERE.
- Create a challenge group
- Invite friends/family
- Schedule in time to move on your calendar every day
- Start getting those steps in + try to enjoy it!
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