How to increase your pedometer steps

How to increase your pedometer steps

Increase your steps by up to 20% each week.

1. Determine your baseline number of steps

Wear your pedometer for at least three consecutive days and record the total number of steps you take. Include one weekend day because weekend activity tends to differ from weekday activity.

Although you may be tempted, don’t change your normal daily activity just because you are recording it. The purpose is to get an accurate assessment of your current activity level.

2. Calculate your average daily step count

Determine the average number of steps you took each day. For example, if you took 15,000 steps over 3 days, your average daily step count was 5,000 steps.

Here’s the math:

15,000 steps / 3 days = 5,000 steps/day

3. Aim for your daily average for one week

Set a one-week step goal. Each day for the week, aim to achieve your daily average step count. In this case, aim to achieve 5,000 steps a day for the next week (or a total of 35,000 steps at the end of the week).

Here’s the math:

5,000 steps a day x 7 days a week = 35,000 steps

Some days you’ll get more than 5,000 steps; some days you’ll get less. Focus on the average to allow for days that are hectic, days you face the unexpected, and days when you’re feeling under the weather. Take advantage of days when you have more time to get in extra steps to make up the difference.

4. Increase your steps by up to 20% each week

Set a new goal each week to increase your daily average step count (or total weekly steps) by up to 20%. For example, if you walked an average of 5,000 steps a day last week, increase your steps by up to 1,000 steps a day (7,000 steps a week) next week.

Here’s the math
  • 5.000 steps a day x 20% (0.20) = 1,000 steps a day
  • 1,000 steps a day x 7 days a week = 7,000 steps a week

Set a goal that is realistic for you; you may decide to increase your steps by 100, 300, or 800 steps a day next week. Gradually increase your steps each week until you reach the recommended number of steps to lose weight.

5. Stay flexible in your approach

Your goals are not set in stone.

  • Some weeks you might increase your steps by 1,000 a day.
  • Some weeks you might decide not to increase your steps at all.
  • Other weeks you may realize your goal was over-ambitious and you need to scale back.

Whatever you decide, focus on making a long-term lifestyle change. Make small, gradual and realistic changes to your activity level so these changes become a permanent part of your lifestyle. This is the best and only way to achieve permanent weight loss.

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...