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Your 14-Day Plan to Walk More Steps

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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.

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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.

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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.

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