Are you currently experiencing a sneak attack of the sedentary lifestyle? It can creep up slowly on you, but quickly become a habit. Not taking enough steps—for the average adult that equals to 10,000 steps a day—can produce much more harm than you realize. From gaining dangerous visceral fat around your stomach to the disappearance of your usual cheery disposition, not taking enough steps can harm your physical and emotional wellbeing. Here’s how and why you should add some steps to your daily routine and feel better than ever!

The Benefit of Steppin’ Up Your Daily Exercise

Opting for the couch instead of a cardio class can be a slippery slope. Quick to become a habit, switching out a love for getting fit into a love of TV watching can not only cause you to gain weight, but increase your risk for diabetes, depression and even on-the-job productivity. When it comes to your health, who has time to waste?

According to Harvard Health, the recommended number of steps for an adult is 10,000 per day. That may seem like a lot, but get creative about increasing your daily movement, and it’s a piece of cake to achieve.

Stepping Up Your Technique

Walking or running legs in forest, adventure and exercisingAs with anything in life, there’s an easy way and a hard way to achieve your goal.  The same goes with increasing your amount of daily steps. Apply the right technique, and meeting your 10,000 steps per day will quickly feel like a habit. Here’s how to effortlessly commit to—and meet—your goal:

Buy a pedometer at your local fitness supply or sports store. Clip it to your belt every morning, and it will accurately tell you how many steps you’ve taken—and how much more you have to go.

Opt for at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense walking, running, or dancing per day. When walking, commit to a straight posture with shoulders back and your spine straight. Practice looking in front of you instead of down. Place your arms down by your sides, and allow them to swing comfortably and casually while you walk.

As with any type of exercise, it’s important to begin your walk/jog/cardio class with a warm-up and a cool down in order to reduce the risk of injury. Stretch properly, and consult your doctor with any questions you may have.

Easy (and Effortless) Ways to Make 10,000 Steps a Day

What happens if you’re making great strides (literally and metaphorically) in your amount of daily exercise, but you’re still nowhere close to reaching 10,000? It’s time to get creative! Here are some easy ways to sneak in thousands of steps so that your balance, mood and even bones are stronger, fitter and better than ever:

Náměstí Míru, Peace Square, Prague - Czech RepublicWhen you’re given a choice between the elevator or stairs, always take the stairs. In fact, take them multiple times on any given occasion to boost your metabolism!

Encourage your co-workers to participate in ‘lunchtime walks’ or your team of employees to commit to ‘walking meetings.’ Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Try a cardio class that you’ve always wanted to check out but until now, have been too timid to: Zumba, step, belly dancing, kickboxing, nightclub cardio, etc. Pick your poison and meet your step criteria in no time!

When you feel good, everything in your life has the power to transform and improve. From lifting your mood to your ability to balance and increase coordination, the power is truly in your hands—and it’s in your step! Commit to 10,000 steps a day and the world becomes your oyster.