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Develop Your Personal Walking Schedule

Try for 10,000 Steps (or more) Each Day!

Step 1: Get a Pedometer

The first step to increase your steps is to get a pedometer, a small device that counts steps. Pedometers can be bought at any store with a sporting goods department.

You can also download a free pedometer app to your smart phone, like the BIDMC Pedometer App, to track your steps.

Step 2: Learn Your Baseline

Wear the pedometer on your waist for one week while you go about your regular daily 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.

Record the total steps you take 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 you determine your baseline, you want to try and 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, try to get your average to 4,500 - 5,000 steps each day during the following week. 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 train 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.

At Home

  •  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.
  • Do a lap around the mall before and/or after your shopping.

More tips for adding walking to your day »

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

June 2015

Contact Information

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

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