Having trouble reaching the recommended 10,000 steps per day? Its easy to rack em up (especially with the help of a pedometer) if you add just 10 to 20 percent more steps each week. Try these simple tips from walking expert Mark Fenton, author of Pedometer Walkingand youll burn more calories without ever setting foot in the gym.
1. Add short walks whenever you can. Park your car a block away, get off the subway or bus a stop early, walk to the next post office drop box, or take a lap around the park on the way home. 600 steps per 5 minutes
2. Buy a new or used treadmill and vow to only watch TV while you walk. (One episode of House, and your numbers will really soar.) 7,800 steps per hour
3. Join an active group. Meet with fellow dog owners to walk your mutts, or link up with a local running or hiking group. (Need help? Visit Health.com/girlsgottamove.) 7,800 steps per hour
4. Take an extra lap around the mall before you shop. (Bonus: Youll get to scout all the best sales.) 1,200 steps per 10 minutes
5. Be an active volunteer. Become a guide at your local art museum or at the zoo, or start taking part in your neighborhood watch. 4,000 to 6,000 steps per hour
Next Page: 6. Convert downtime to walking time [ pagebreak ]6. Convert downtime to walking time. During your daughters tennis lesson, walk to town hall to pay your taxes or do laps on the adjacent track. 3,900 steps per 30 minutes
7. Eliminate one tripcar, bus, or subwayper week; walk or bike instead. Work up to replacing one trip per day. 3,600 steps per 30 minutes; count 110 steps per minute of pedaling
8. Plan an active getaway. On a hiking trip in the mountains, for example, you can rack up a load of steps (and you wont have to deal with any crowds). 8,000 steps per hour
9. Set up a walking school bus if you live close enough to a school. Shuttle neighborhood children there or back a few times a week. 2,400 steps per 20-minute trip
Portland, Maine–based freelance writer Tracy Teare gets an extra 2,600 steps a day walking her black Lab, Trapper.
"Now that I'm working and have three kids, I fit walking in whenever I can."
Paula Ackerman | 37, Munising, Michigan
–Takes the stairs to her office and uses a restroom on a different floor. 600 steps per 5 minutes
–Combines exercise with quality Mom time by taking walks with her kids. 3,900 steps per 30 minutes
“It might take a little longer to get where Im going, but I feel invigorated when I walkand I dont have to deal with parking.”
Rachel Levin | 32, San Francisco
-Skips the nearest convenience store and walks to one a few blocks away. 600 steps per 5 minutes
-Walks to dinner at nearby restaurants (then catches a cab home if its late) instead of driving or taking public transportation. 2,400 steps per 20 minutes