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Develop Your Personal Walking Schedule

For Walkers Who Currently Average 4,000 Steps A Day

This program is for beginner walkers who average 4,000 steps a day. The goal is to get to 10,000 steps a day!

Step 1: Buy a Pedometer

Anyone can use this program by adjusting the numbers. First, you need to buy a pedometer, which is a small device that counts steps. It can be bought at Walmart, Target, or any sporting goods store. You will wear it on your waist for one week while you perform regular activities, and the pedometer will record the number of steps you take each day. This will provide a baseline number of your current level of activity.

Step 2: Learn Your Baseline

Wear your pedometer and move about as you usually do to learn your baseline. Record the total steps each day, add them up, and divide your total steps by 7 to find your baseline.

Day Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Steps

Step 3: Boost Your Daily Steps

Once a baseline is determined, you want to add 500 - 1,000 steps each day, each week! Aim to increase steps gradually.

Example: If you are currently averaging 4,000 steps each day, then the following week, try to get your average to 4,500 - 5,000 steps each day. Continue to add each week!

Week Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 4,000 5,000 4,000 4,000 5,500 3,000 6,000
2 5,000 6,000 4,500 5,000 4,500 3,500 6,500
3 5,000 6,500 5,500 5,500 5,000 4,500 6,500
4 6,000 7,000 5,000 6,000 6,000 5,000 7,000
5 6,000 7,000 6,500 6,500 7,500 5,500 6,500
6 6,000 7,500 7,000 7,000 7,500 6,000 8,000
7 7,500 8,000 7,000 7,500 8,000 6,000 8,500
8 8,000 9,000 8,000 8,500 9,000 7,500 9,500
9 8,500 9,500 9,000 9,000 9,500 7,500 10,000
10 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

Ways to Increase Your Steps


At Work

  • Get off the bus or T stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Instead of emailing a coworker, get up and ask them a question
  • Go for a walk on your lunch break
  • Set an alarm to get up and move every half hour or hour from desk or computer screen
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Doing Hobbies

  • Do a lap around the mall before and/or after your shopping
  • While watching TV, get up and move during the commercials
  • Get your group (knitting, reading, social) to do a 20-minute walk before your meeting

Running Errands

  • Park further away from store entrance
  • Walk around the outside perimeter of the grocery store before actually going up and down the aisles

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care and before starting any exercise program, consult your doctor.

Posted May 2014

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
The Walking Club
walking@bidmc.harvard.edu

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