Your 14-Day Plan to Walk More Steps

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Your 14-Day Plan to Walk More Steps

For the next 14 days, it’s time to ratchet up your fitness level. Wherever you are on the fitness spectrum — an off-the-couch beginner, beginner/intermediate or intermediate — it’s time to lace up those shoes and take some laps. This fitness plan is meant to be a shot in the arm or a quick jump-start.

The plan is simple: For the next 14 days, you need to double-down on your steps. This two-week challenge is progressive, simple and short.

Numbers are the name of the game for this challenge. You have one simple task: Walk more! Your daily goal will be to walk more than you did the day before. If you can find someone to do this with you, that would be an added boost. It’s always easier to have a friend or family member to hold you accountable and cheer you on.

If time, weather or your job are obstacles that have stood in your way in the past, you might have to use some creativity. Here are some ideas to squeeze in your steps:

  • Walk laps inside your office building on your lunch break
  • Use a treadmill
  • Go to the mall and walk around
  • Wear a path in your carpet around your house

Where there is a will, there is always a way. Good luck!

OFF-THE-COUCH BEGINNER

WOO HOO! So, you have decided you’re going to make some lifestyle changes to improve your health. Great choice. Creating new habits takes time, patience and a strong will. But guess what? This plan is perfect for you because it’s only two weeks long and simple to follow.

This plan assumes you are capable of averaging 1,000–3,000 steps a day before you begin the routine. You’re going to add 500 steps a day — except for the last day — with the goal to hit 10,000 steps (roughly 5 miles) on Day 14. . If you don’t reach 10,000 steps at the end of the 14 days, it’s OK. Just keep moving. The goal is to simply hit 10,000 steps, and then move up to the beginner/intermediate group.

If you’re not yet able to take 3,000 steps, have no fear. Just start from where you’re able, and try your best to walk a little more every day.

MFP_14DayWalk_Graphic_beginnerMFP_14DayWalk_Quotes_confucius

BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE

So you guys have been around the block a few times, so to speak. If you are currently averaging 5,000–6,000 steps per day, this group is perfect for you. Now is the time to step up your game — 750 extra steps each day to be exact, with the last day being an exception of 1,000 extra steps. The plan below starts with 5,000 steps. Your goal is to hit 15,000 steps, roughly 7.5 miles, by the end of the two weeks. After the two weeks are finished, you can attack another goal: the intermediate plan. You’ve built momentum; continue to push toward the next fitness goal.

MFP_14DayWalk_Graphic_beginterMFP_14DayWalk_Quotes_tomorrow

INTERMEDIATE

The pros! Getting your steps is part of your everyday routine. The biggest hurdle for you will not be adding more steps each day, but finding the time to do so. Your time is precious; all we’re asking for is a short-term sacrifice. If you average 6,500–8,000 steps per day, this plan is for you. You have to add 1,000 steps per day, with the goal of hitting 20,000 steps on Day 14. It’s going to take some work to add 1,000 steps per day, but it can be done. The model below starts with 7,000 steps. After you finish this challenge, I strongly recommend you go to a spin class, start jogging or begin lifting weights. Your body is more than ready for the next fitness chapter.

MFP_14DayWalk_Graphic_interMFP_14DayWalk_Quotes_excuse

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  • the_man_they_call_mike

    Great program. Do you recommend sticking to walking for the intermediate? 20,000 steps takes about 3:20 to walk at 3 mph. Running half it would cut the time down to about 2:30. I understand the waking would be spread throughout the day, but perhaps swapping out a morning walk with a morning jog would help up the steps. For new runners, the Couch to 5K program could be helpful. Running I know isn’t for everyone. Just my thoughts. Thanks again!

    • Erik Taylor

      Thank you! I would go with whatever you are comfortable with. Good luck!

  • Raine1020

    My vivofit does not accurately calculate steps when running. I have an active job at a PT on my feet nearly all day and ran 4miles and still didn’t reach but 10,000 steps per my device. Any advice?

    • Yp

      Try putting it on your ankle or in your sock. That worked better for me when I worked in a lab and did lots of short bits of walking. The sensor wants a certain amount of movement in a row and at a certain speed before it counts the steps. I assume this is so that normal arm movements aren’t calculated as steps. It’s probably not sensing most of your steps during the day and just getting your run. Not sure if it will help but it’s something to try. God luck

    • Gweenie

      Email the company and tell them it needs recalibrated. They should be able to tell you what to do our maybe even serve you a new one.

      • Gtrmudy

        Go to the connect app for your vivofit and do a customized stride length it should fix the problem

  • lwright311

    I often jog on my mini trampoline while watching TV to reach my step goal.

    • Erik Taylor

      Good for you!

  • chanteh

    I am in!

    • Erik Taylor

      Awesome, good luck!

  • Sarah

    How does anyone have time for 20k steps?? On a good day I hit 11k but that’s pushing myself and I’m walking at lunch, after work, and then on a treadmill at the gym at night… Probably a total of like 2 hours walking…. Or is this for runners? I haven’t started running yet.

    • Blackdawn_70631

      I have no idea how people can hit 40,000. A normal day for me is 11,000. But yesterday I just hit my first 20,000, but that was because of work.

      • Erik Taylor

        Great job!

      • Nick Speelman

        The only 40K days I’ve ever had were on weekends when I went on 20 mile hikes or walks around the city. But I’ve had 30K days by walking to work, walking on my lunch break, then walking most of the way home.

    • Erik Taylor

      Just do your best!

    • Katie

      In addition to the things you said, I run in place while watching TV after work. I average about 21k a day.

    • Nick Speelman

      Walking is my hobby. I get 5 or 6K or so with my dog in the morning. Then another 5K on my commute in the morning by getting off the bus early for transfers. I usually rack up another 5 or 6K on my lunch hour. Doing things like walking down the hall to talk to someone rather than emailing or intercomming them and taking the long way around the office to do it can add another 2 or 3K a day. I get another 2 or 3K on my commute home again by getting off for transfers a little early. Add in the steps I get doing housework when I get home and I regularly break 20K without much of a problem. Over the long run I probably average more like 17 or 18K a day but last week I averaged closer to 25.

    • cherfer

      agreed, I am single and no children, I work and live in the city and I still don’t have time in my day.

  • pat

    I’m ready.

    • Erik Taylor

      Good luck!

  • Helena

    I’m in. I’m a primary teacher and do 14,000 steps most (work) days. I quite often take the kids for a run around the playground – I tell them we have to do more steps than my sister ( a secondary teacher…we always win!). The kids will love this challenge, I can see some very active lessons co I got up after Easter. Also helps the kids think about exercise in a fun and creative way

    • Erik Taylor

      Love getting the kids involved! Let me know how it goes!!

  • Lashona

    I’m in 100%

    • Erik Taylor

      Awesome, good luck!

  • Arwah

    I’m totally in!!

    • Erik Taylor

      Good luck!

  • Blackdawn_70631

    What I did with my Fitbit is bump up my step goal. At first, many years ago, it was 7,000 steps (before my Fitbit). Then I bumped to 10,000 (w my Fitbit). Then it was to 11,000. Now I’m gonna move my daily step goal up to 12,000.

    • Erik Taylor

      Good for you! Good luck!

    • Jennifer Gottfried

      I’ve been doing that with my phone fitness tracker. I’m up to 10,000 steps and just ordered the new Fitbit. I’m excited to boost my steps even more and get back into the gym!

  • andreeaivsk

    i’m in

    • Erik Taylor

      Great! Good luck!

  • Erik Taylor

    Great! Good luck, you’ve got this!

  • Andrew Lee

    Do you have to do it consecutively in days? I got up to 18000 and didn’t hit it. Should I start again?

  • Rob Martinez

    I’m back to averaging 20k steps, 9 miles a day for 4 months now. My recent best day was 56k steps, 26 miles walking on April 3. I use Fitbit Flex and Mapmyfitness to monitor my numbers. I had double knee replacement surgery July 2015 and am very pleased to getting my numbers back up to before my knees started to slow me down. Any suggestions on a next “step” for me that does not include any high impact activity like jogging? The Doc says to avoid that.

    • Kenny Wilson

      Impressive stats.

    • Becky Klein

      Try Racewalking!!

      • Rob Martinez

        Thanks Becky!!! I’ll see how that works for me.

    • Nick Speelman

      I’m in the camp to just keep racking up more & more steps walking because I love walking. But you could consider cycling. It’s pretty low impact.

  • Marilee Jikey

    When I play golf, walk and carry my clubs I get around 17,000 steps for the round. Maybe I should try and play 36 holes, lol. When I walk I get a little over 1000 steps for 10 minutes. It takes me about an hour and a half to get my 10,000. I block off the time and put it on my schedule because it’s as important as anything else I do.

  • Carol

    How do you sign up for this challenge?

  • Roberta Rossi Williams

    Which Fitbit is the best to buy for a beginner? Thank you

    • Ebony

      In my opinion, the Surge is really great. It helps keep you motivated by allowing easy access to your up-to-the-minute stats throughout the day. It has helped keep me on track in my weight loss and fitness goals. To date, I’ve lost 65lbs since receiving it for Christmas. Good luck!

      • Kathryn Smith

        Congratulations Ebony!!! I’ll have to check out the Surge when I can afford another. Mine is the Vivofit.

        • Ebony

          Thank you, Kathryn:-). This journey has been as challenging as it has been rewarding. I’m not too familiar with the Vivifit. Do you like it?

          • Kathryn Smith

            It’s been too much of a challenge for me I’m afraid. I enjoy working on the computer and don’t know how to do that and walk at the same time. 🙂 I like my Vivifit. It’s nothing fancy though. I can use it as a watch/with date, counting my steps, shows how much until I reach my daily goal, how many miles I walked and I think the last one is how many calories I’ve burned. It’s water resistant so I wear it when I go to my water exercise class. I think it was one of the cheaper ones, which is what swayed my decision.

          • Karen Lindstrom

            I have a FitBit Zip that hooks on my belt or the edge of a pocket. It is real basic. When I grocery shop I typically hit 10,000. I do try to walk 3 miles as often as I can. I need to try a little harder! I use MapmyRide when I bicycle to work, which is 8 1/2 miles round trip. I might check out the vivofit.

          • Kathryn Smith

            I have often thought about riding a bicycle again. The last time I tried I couldn’t keep my balance. lol I’m afraid I’ll make a fool of myself.

    • Guest

      I like my Charge HR. It’s perfect for me (as a fellow beginner). I’m not a crazy-checker though. I do a cursory check on my steps and stairs throughout the day, and when I work out I do check my heart rate. If I want a bigger breakdown, I just use the Fitbit app on my phone.

      The Charge HR is great, too, if you want to track your sleep. I don’t know if the Surge does or not. I tracked mine for a while, confirming what I already knew: I wake up a lot. But then I stopped because I don’t like sleeping with it on.

      Really, it’s about a) how much progress checking you want to do and b) how much you want to spend. And how big of tracker you want to lug around. I like the smallness of the Charge HR, and I don’t mind scrolling to my stats.

      Definitely look into the options for yourself. The products are all fantastic. It’s just about preference.

      • Jim Cooper

        The Surge tracks sleep as well. It also tracks your heart rate continuously as well

  • Dee

    I would like to print this chart out to post as a reminder and to put my gold star on when I meet that goal for the day, but I can’t get it to print on one page no matter what I do. Can you put up a print friendly version?

    Thanks,
    Dee

    • Kathryn Smith

      Hi Dee, To print each chart, just right-click on the chart and select to “save image as”. You’ll have to do it for each chart if you want them all. I’ve saved mine to my desktop. I hope this helps you.

  • Amy

    I currently would classify myself as INT, and would love to be doing 20k steps a day. I do 7-10 k steps most days right now, but that is in a day. As I mentioned, some days I have trouble just hitting my goal, how do you ramp up from walking to Jogging, or more?

  • angie

    I have a fit bit and walk everyday on my job, and also do some incline walking and in a day i can average about 12,000 to 15,000 steps in a day. I also work 5 days a week too. Now during the weekends I can get in any wheres from 8,000 – 10,000 steps. YEAH ME!!! I have lost 43 pounds and have changed my eating habits to fresh fruits and veggies and mostly chicken and fish and am loving it. If I can do it anyone can.

    • davedave12

      awesome

    • Greg Anderson

      NOW THAT’S WHAT I AM TALKIN ABOUT WELL DONE

    • Jenny

      How do you get your furniture to sinc with this app. I added it. Switched over to step counter but it won’t sinc ? Can you please help.

      • Jenny

        Fitbit sorry not furniture

        • Chellyb

          Having the same issue.

          • Mary1218

            Having the same issue help please

          • Clairese

            Go to more on the bottom right hand side and link up with your Fitbit happy walking!!!

          • Clairese

            Oh yeah choose steps then link

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  • davedave12

    I walked in the parking lot at lunch — using my watch and a deliberate pace (I was breathing harder, but I could carry a conversation), I figure I walked 100 steps per minute — so 10000 steps is 100 minutes — strolling does not count

    • Mylissa Carder

      I have a charge hr2. I have lost 65 pounds in 7 months. I eat more fruits and veggies. I drink more water and I stopped drinking pop. I love my Fitbit. It motivates me to move more.

  • cherfer

    who has time to walk 10 miles a day!

  • Elizabeth

    My average is 30,000 steps a day. I began with a goal of 5,000 2 years ago. I have set weird but helpful rules. For example: if I want to talk on the phone I need to walk while I am talking or I park as far away from stores as possible and walk every aisle when I am shopping. I must admit this takes time but I have tried to incorporate walking in every part of my day. I must admit though, I do spend at least 2-3 hours a day walking but I am doing other things at the time and don’t necessarily notice the extra effort. Good luck, I now feel so great!!

    • Chanell Hayes

      From 5,000 to 30,000 a day is very impressive!

    • Chellyb

      That’s awesome! I wish the article gave tips like that. I don’t have a problem walking it’s just fitting it into a busy working mom’s schedule.

      • Anita

        Whenever you heat things in the microwave, march the time away — you’d be surprised what 2-3 minutes 3-4 times a day will do to your step count!

    • fran123

      I walk when I brush my teeth too. That’s 400-600 steps/day just from that. 🙂

  • Guest 1

    I do 10,000 basically everyday,but I Collapse by the end of the day. Not sure how to get the energy to go up and above the 10000 steps a day. I know I got to do something we are planning on going on a cruise in January would like to lose another 15 pounds just don’t have the willpower at times.

  • Carol

    Is this a challenge that you can sign up for and have other people to compete with or do you just have to do this on your own?

  • June Shutt

    I have built walking into my daily commute. Does not impact the rest of my family and you arrive at work feeling refreshed.

    Direct route home to office is approx 0.75 miles. Instead I choose an extended route and walk 2.75 miles. Also means no need to motivate to go to the gym after work.

  • Eszter

    I have a fitbit flex. I walk 10000 steps every day. I would like to increas from there, because I am also committed to a pact of takung 10k steps daily in the pact app

  • Chellyb

    I wish the article shared helpful tips on how to increase your steps. Hard for me because I’m in meetings where you can’t get the steps in.

  • Natasha

    I do 10k steps most days so will start the challenge tomorrow starting at the 10k and going up accordingly. It will be fun. Quick question if you go up by more than 1k one day do you continue from there or aim for the number of steps you would have been going for as part of the challenge?

  • Gail

    If you don’t have a Fitbit, how do you keep track of all your steps?

    • Anita

      Most smart phones will count steps, although it’s weird how you have to manually enter the steps into the app – like walking leisurely 2.0 mph for x time.

    • PW

      I use an ipod Nano, the little square one.

  • Constance Hampton

    6 football field laps today and 1baseball lap steps 6931

  • kookykrazee

    I would like to see something that is the next level above intermediate. I average about 12-14k, but want to up it and would love some tips. I have a sit down job, but my Charge 2 helps me make sure I get up every hour and get at least 250 steps. I tend to average about 10/12 hours getting at least that. Most days I walk home which is about 1.75 miles. It helps, but I get stuck somewhere around the 12-14 range, but I want to get closer to 20k by summer 🙂

  • Big Jim

    I do my 10000 steps in my house. I count the steps from my recliner to my Fridge and back. I get to enjoy eating as well as relaxing on my recliner…Works fantastic. Lost 40 lbs and I’m all caught up on my TV shows…..

  • Michelle Dodge

    Oh, I like this!!