Tips & Tricks: Minimize Efficiency, Maximize Step Count

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  1. Park out in the back forty, but do it on purpose

Most people consider scoring a close parking spot something worth celebrating. I consider finding a spot at the back of the parking lot – preferably away from other cars – a win. I even like to park in a different parking lot whenever I can. For instance, today I parked in front of a different building on my work campus and walked over to my building. For me, there’s nothing better than a morning walk before having to sit inside at a desk for hours on end.

  1. Take the shopping cart back into the store

Don’t just use those convenient little cart corrals. Walk from your spot (in the back of the parking lot) back to the store and put it where it belongs. You’ll get extra steps and brownie points from the poor employees who have to traipse all over the parking lot gathering them up.

  1. Multiple trips

Seeing as I’m a woman, I was born with the ability to get all of my groceries in the house in one trip, no matter how much I bought. It goes against all of my instincts to not just load up my arms and go, but the multiple trips in and out of the house gets me some needed extra steps. Act like a man; one bag at a time.

  1. Don’t use the nearest bathroom

I’ve been informed that this might be a luxury only someone like me (i.e. young, never had children, etc) can afford but I figured I’d put it here anyway. If you can, don’t use the bathroom that’s closest. Most likely there’s another one around somewhere…go find it. The bathroom closest to me is 43 steps from my desk. The next one is 80. Don’t ask me why I know this, I just do.

  1. Pee break = lap around office

After I’ve wandered to the farthest bathroom and finished my business, I like to make a lap around the office floor. I’m lucky enough to work in a fairly large building, so it’s a decent amount of steps. Especially considering I drink at least 4 liters of water while I’m at work, so I’m constantly making these trips. Bonus: it lets me step away from work for a few minutes.

  1. Hour lunch break? 30 minutes for eating, 30 for walking

It doesn’t take you an hour to eat lunch, stop kidding yourself. Eat your lunch, then get walking. Walk around the building, walk around outside, walk to your car parked in a distant parking lot for no other reason than to say you did it. Just move.

  1. Make conference calls the playlist for your walk

You know…you don’t HAVE to sit at your desk staring at the cubicle wall while listening in on a conference call. Shocking, right? Plug in your earbuds and listen while you’re going for a nice little stroll. Multitasking at its most productive.

  1. Link your computer to a printer at the other end of the building

There’s a printer 3 aisles down from my desk. I never use it. I took the time to connect my computer to a printer at the other end and side of the building. I don’t print things frequently, but when I do at least I’m going on a little journey to get it.

  1. Use other’s unhealthy habits to encourage your healthy ones

Both my supervisor and manager are pretty heavy smokers. Whenever they go for a smoke, I go for a walk. My theory is that if people are allowed smoke breaks (you know, time away from work to do something TERRIBLE FOR YOUR HEALTH) then I sure as shit should get time away from work to do something good for myself.

  1. Walk to the mailbox

I never get my mail before I pull into my driveway. I always park my car, take my things inside (using two trips), then head back out to go get the mail. My driveway isn’t very long, in all honesty, but it’s still more steps than I would get if I got the mail from my car. A bunch of small habits can lead to big results.

Tips & Tricks: Tried and True Tips for Ultimate Water Consumption by a Self-Proclaimed Water Drinking Pro

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First of all, I’m not going to insult you by saying you should set a water goal. You guys are masters at setting goals (and then crushing them). So, here we go.

  • Bring all the water you want to drink throughout the day with you

I hoard water bottles like a dragon and its treasure. I swear I have more water bottles than I do actual dishware. So, I utilize them. I fill up 4 one liter bottles each night before bed, stick ‘em in the fridge and then grab them out and put them in my work bag the next morning. Then I remind myself how freaking heavy that bag was on my walk into work and that it would be super great to have it be considerably lighter on the walk out.

  • Drink water you actually like

I HATE the water at work. I think it’s disgusting. Before I moved into my own house, I used to fill up a gallon milk jug from my parents’ house and take that to work. To this day, their water is the best I’ve ever tasted. I don’t like Dasani water, or Aquafina. I’m not even super fond of the water at my house (that darn city water…I’m a simple country girl who likes well water, okay?). I have a Sodastream though and that has been my saving grace. I only drink it with the diet lemon lime flavoring and it’s AMAZING. It’s also good to put in smoothies with pineapple and blueberries. Anyway, I’ve found that when you have water that actually tastes good to you, it makes it a lot easier to chug-a-lug all day long.

  • Figure out HOW you like to drink your water

So this sounds a bit weird, but I’ve found that drink water much quicker through a straw. I like to just sit at my desk with the straw permanently in my mouth while I work on my laptop. In fact, I’m doing it right now. So I have a really cute 1 liter cup that looks like a mason jar and it has a straw, so I pour my lemon lime water from my hoarded water bottle into my cute cup and away I go. If you like drinking it from a cup with crushed ice, then get yourself a cup with crushed ice. If you like drinking straight from the water bottle, then do it.

  • Don’t have other options in the house

The only thing I have to drink in my house is water from the faucet. So even if I wanted a Diet Coke (and trust me, some days I think I might kill a man for one) I don’t even have the option. It’s not like I’m going to go all the way to the store for one pop (or soda, if you’re WRONG). Remove liquid temptations and eventually the urge to go for something else will dissipate.

  • Think of the benefits (of having to pee all the time)

I’m serious on this one, guys! When you drink a lot of water it seems like all you’re ever doing is going to the bathroom. But think about the benefits. For starters, it gets you away from your desk for at least a couple of minutes. You get some GD peace and quiet. And, if you get up to go as soon as the urge strikes, you can take the long way to the restroom in order to get some extra steps! Lastly, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that holding your pee increases the risk of getting a UTI, so going frequently can only help, right? But seriously, water helps with weight loss, clear skin, increases energy, prevents cramps, regulate body temperatures, etc. etc. etc. Does pop do that? What about beer? Sugary juices? That’s what I thought.