How to Walk 2,000 More Steps a Day and Keep Weight Off

Woman tracking her steps on a cell phone app

Todor Tsvetkov / Getty Images

If you want to be less sedentary, but aren't sure where to start, why not try walking more? For those who aren't ready to commit to a full-on workout program, simply getting in some extra steps every day is an excellent goal. Using a little creativity, it's possible to increase your daily steps without taking extra time out of your busy day.

Walking 2,000 steps is equivalent to about a mile. Make a conscious effort to move more throughout the day to boost your total mileage.

How to Count Your Steps

By tracking your total daily steps with a pedometer, activity monitor, or pedometer app on your mobile phone. you can see how to accumulate more steps.

  1. Buy a step-counting pedometer or activity monitor, or download a pedometer app.
  2. Set your pedometer or app so it is counting accurately. This might involve adjusting the sensitivity so it doesn't under- or over-count your steps.
  3. Wear your pedometer or activity tracker throughout the day or ensure you are carrying your phone with you most of the day.
  4. See how many steps you take on an average day by recording your steps two weekdays and one weekend day without changing your activity. Just do what you normally do. Once you know your typical stepcount then add 2,000 steps to set your daily walking goal. With apps and online dashboards, you can often set your own goal rather than just accepting the standard 10,000 steps per day.
  5. Chart your steps each day or check the daily log for your pedometer app or activity monitor.
  6. Make a game of it. If you are using a pedometer that has an associated app or online dashboard, set goals, and join in challenges. Having friends with the same fitness monitor will let you engage in friendly competition with them.

Easy Ways to Add 2,000 Steps

How can you stop sitting still and get more steps throughout the day? Try these strategies to walk more and reduce the health risks of sitting still.

At Home

  • During TV commercials, get up and walk around the house.
  • Stash the TV remote in a drawer, and walk to the TV to change channels.
  • Never drive through—get out and park and walk into the bank or fast food stop instead.
  • Return the shopping cart all the way to the store after grocery shopping.
  • When doing errands, park in a central location and walk to your store destinations.
  • When making a phone call, stand up and pace around as you talk.

During Work

  • Circle the room when waiting for meetings to start.
  • Don't stand; pace when waiting for the bus, at an elevator, etc.
  • Get off the bus a stop or two before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way.
  • Park in the back of the parking lot and walk farther to the door.
  • Use the farthest entrance into your workplace from your parking spot or bus stop, and walk through the building to your work area.
  • Rather than phone, text, or email, walk to a coworker's office and talk to them in person.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator, especially for one to three floors, both up and down.
  • Use the restroom, copy machine, water fountain, break room, etc. that is farther from your work area.
  • When people stop to talk with you, make it a moving meeting and walk around together while chatting.

On Weekends

  • Sign up for a charity walk. These are usually 5 or 10 kilometers (3 or 6 miles) and lots of fun.
  • Join a historic walking tour of your city or other nearby attraction.
  • Take seasonal walks, such as a tour of holiday lights, flowers, gardens, nature trails, festivals, historic homes, or autumn leaves.
  • Visit local parks and enjoy the trails. Set a goal to visit them all in the next couple of months.
  • Volkssport walking events are free or inexpensive walking events and self-guided walking routes. They're hosted by local clubs, open to everyone, and held in locations around the world.

With Others

  • Chart your walking miles on a trail or street map for a family or workplace walking challenge.
  • Form a workplace walking group and meet to walk together during lunch or break.
  • Make a family habit of taking a 10- to 20-minute walk after dinner or first thing in the morning.
  • Start a neighborhood walking group and meet to walk together in the morning, noon, or after work.

Try Short, Dedicated Walks

To increase your daily steps, try doing marching minutes. Every 30 minutes, get up from your chair and spend one to five minutes walking in place and stretching your arms, shoulders, and neck.

Look over your usual trips in the car. Are there any that you could do as walks instead, such as to the post office or library? If you take your kids to sports or activities, dedicate 10 to 20 minutes to walking around after dropping them off or before you pick them up.

When waiting at the airport, secure your bags and take a good walk around the terminal area. Don't take the people-mover sidewalks.

Daily habits like walking your dog can help you incorporate more walking every day. Before eating lunch, make a habit of taking a 15-minute walking break. Chart your walking and set a reward when you reach your goals.

Walking Step Equivalents

Walking step equivalents are available for a wide range of activities so you can take credit for all of your movement, even if it doesn't register on a pedometer.

  • 1 mile = 2,200 average steps walking at a pace of 20 minutes per mile
  • 1 block = 200 average steps
  • 10 minutes of walking = 1,100 steps on average
  • Bicycling fast = 170 steps per minute
  • Swimming laps (moderate pace) = 138 steps for each minute
  • Weightlifting = 112 steps per minute
  • Rollerskating or inline skating = 145 steps per minute

A Word From Verywell

Don't underestimate the power of small changes. You don't have to jump into a vigorous workout program to be more active. Simply walking more each day can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being. Find creative ways to increase your steps, and measure how much you move for added accountability. Remember, every step counts!

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