Activities to get your step count up

We set the alarm for 6am and go for an energising jog before drinking a supergreen smoothie and then gently waking our sleeping children… RIGHT? Ha!

If, like us, your trainers are gathering dust and you’re constantly chasing a toddler, it’s easy to feel like you never have the time or energy to exercise. Those steps don’t feel like they count unless you’re wearing lycra.

But, recent research has found that aiming for 10,000 steps a day can improve health and fitness – it’s equal to walking 5 miles, but you can do those steps wherever and however you like. It turns out walking up and down stairs changing nappies, finding favourite dolls and fetching socks uses actual steps. So that’s why life feels like a marathon.

Here are 5 kids’ games that will help to get your step count up. They’ll keep your kids busy and happy – and you can feel smug that you’re actually, finally doing something for you.

1) Don’t stop moving: Have a dance party!

What to do:

Take it in turns to pick a song to dance to with your little one – dare we suggest starting with Baby Shark…? Then it’s your turn – The Greatest Showman, Madonna, Lionel Ritchie, the choice is yours!

Kids love grooving? Here are 5 more dancing games

2) Hide & tweet! Find moments of me time with this hiding game.

What to do:

Play a classic game of hide and seek with your kids. You can use the time that you’re “counting” to send a quick email or tweet (while marching on the spot if you’re super keen). Then get those steps up by going to look for your kids.

3) Tickle tag! Burn off some energy with this silly game.

What to do:

Chase your little ones around the house and tickle them when you catch them!

4) Follow the leader: Let your kids be in charge!

What to do:

Whatever you do, your little ones do too! Marching, crawling, spinning or clapping… then let them take over and see what ideas they come up with to keep you all moving. 

These 5 indoor ball games are another great way to get your step count up.

5) Ready, set… clean! Turn tidy up time into a game.

What to do:

Put on some fast music and race each other to clear up part of the room or house, putting everything in its proper place.

Here are 5 more ways to get your step count up that give time back to you:

1. Meet a friend for a walk and a catch up after dinner instead of watching TV. Or go for a walk and call them.
2. Choose to walk to school instead of driving or getting the bus. Put your child on a scooter and pull them along by their hand to keep them moving! Or try these walking games.
3. Use your lunch break at work to go out for a walk while listening to your favourite podcast.
4. If you’re at home with your kids, set an alarm to go off every hour and walk up and down stairs. Or do one of the active games, above.
5. Run a bath and while it runs, put on your favourite song and dance like no-one’s watching!