How to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day and Keep Weight Off

30 Easy Ways to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day

Woman tracking her steps on a cell phone app
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If you add just 2000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. That's about an extra mile a day of stepping. Research by Dr. James O. Hill suggests those 2000 steps can burn 100 calories and make the difference. If you want to lose weight, he suggests starting with 2000 more steps per day and then adding more steps.

2000 More Steps per Day

Sedentary people in the USA generally move only 2000 to 3000 steps a day.

Studies have shown that moving 6000 steps a day significantly reduces the risk of death, and 8,000 to 10,000 a day promotes weight loss. It is a good start to add 2000 more steps to each day.

How far do you go in 2000 steps? It is about a mile. If you walked it continuously, it would take 15 to 25 minutes. But the benefits for health and for weight management don't depend on you walking a mile all at one time, but simply adding in more steps throughout the day.

Count Your Steps with a Pedometer or App

By tracking your total daily steps with a pedometer, fitness band, or pedometer app on your mobile phone. you will see how you accumulate steps.

  1. Buy a step counting pedometer or start using a pedometer app. See top picks for pedometers.
  2. Set your pedometer or app so it is counting accurately.
  3. Wear your pedometer 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, then add 2000 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.
  1. Chart your steps each day or check the daily log for your pedometer app or online dashboard for your activity monitor.
  2. Make a game or challenge of it. If you are using a pedometer that has an associated app or online dashboard, set goals and join in any challenges they have. It is very effective to have friends with the same fitness band and compete with them.

    30 Easy Ways to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day

    How can you stop sitting still and get more steps per day? Here are ways you can achieve more steps throughout the day and reduce the health risks of sitting still.

    Sneaky Steps at Home and Work 

    • Park in the far back of the parking lot and walk farther to the door.
    • Get off the bus a stop or two before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way.
    • Use the farthest entrance into your workplace from your parking spot or bus stop, and walk through the building to your work area.
    • Don't stand, pace when waiting for the bus, waiting at an elevator, etc. pace around in circles rather than just standing.
    • Circle the room when waiting for meetings to start.
    • Use the restroom, copy machine, water fountain, break room, etc. that is farther from your work area.
    • Take the stairs rather than the elevator, especially for one to three floors, both up and down.
    • When making a phone call, stand up and pace around as you talk.
    • Rather than phone, text, or email, walk to a coworker's office or neighbor's house and talk to them live.
    • When people stop to talk with you, make it a moving meeting and walk around together while chatting.
    • Hide the TV remote and walk to the TV to change channels.
    • During TV commercials, get up and walk around the house.
    • When doing errands, park in a central location and walk to your store destinations.
    • Return the shopping cart all the way to the store after grocery shopping.
    • Never drive through - get out and park and walk into the bank or fast food stop instead.

    Short Dedicated Walks

    • Marching Minutes: every 30 minutes get up from your desk or easy chair and do 1-5 minutes of walking in place and stretching your arms, shoulders and neck.
    • Before eating lunch, take a 15-minute walking break.
    • Walk the dog.
    • Look over your usual trips in the car - are there any that you could do as walks instead, such as to the post office?
    • If you take your kids to sports or activities, dedicate 10 to 20 minutes of that time to walking around after dropping them off or when you arrive early to 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.

    Walking Together—Two or More

    • Form a workplace walking group and meet to walk together during lunch or break.
    • Form a neighborhood walking group and meet to walk together in the morning, noon, or after work.
    • Make a family habit of taking a 10-20 minute walk after dinner together, or first thing in the morning.
    • Use the Webwalking USA Program for a family or workplace walking challenge.
    • Chart your walking and set a reward when you reach your walking goals.

    Fun Walking Activities for the Weekend

    • Charity Walks are usually 5 or 10 kilometers (3 or 6 miles) and lots of fun.
    • Visit local parks and enjoy the trails. Set a goal to visit them all in the next couple of months.
    • Seasonal walks: Holiday lights, flowers and gardens, nature trails, local festivals, historic home tours, autumn leaves.
    • Volkssport walking events and clubs: These free or inexpensive walking events and self-guided walking routes are open to everyone and held in locations throughout the world.
    • Join in a historic walking tour of your city or other nearby attraction.

    Walking Steps Equivalents

    Sources:

    Dwyer T, Pezic A, Sun C, et al. Objectively Measured Daily Steps and Subsequent Long Term All-Cause Mortality: The Tasped Prospective Cohort Study. Ginsberg SD, ed. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(11):e0141274. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141274.

    Hill JO. Can a small-changes approach help address the obesity epidemic? A report of the Joint Task Force of the American Society for Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, and International Food Information Council. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;89(2):477-484. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26566.

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