21 Ways to Add 500 (Or More!) Steps to Your Day

Step your way slim with our easiest weight-loss strategy ever! Simply lace up your sneakers and get inspired by these easy ideas. 

walking exercise plan to lose weight

Forget about having to slog through long workouts to shape up and slim down. Getting fit can be a walk in the park (literally). The secret: Take 10,000 steps per day. Those who do have the lowest body mass index (BMI) and body fat, according to the latest studies. Follow these tips to help you get to 10K, mixing and matching as you like. Losing weight has never been simpler or more fun! 

1. Sign up for a weekend walking tour. Bring your family and join other locals and tourists on a trip around your town—which could easily cover a mile. Check with a nearby visitors bureau or visit freetoursbyfoot.com or a similar site. (2,000 steps)

2. Take the five-minute walk with your kids to the bus stop (or to school if you’re close) instead of driving them. Then walk to pick them up after school. (2,000 steps)

3. Vacuum your house for 20 minutes, moving around as much as possible. (2,000 steps)

4. Enjoy a 10-minute walk after lunch or dinner each day. Bonus: Walking after a meal helps improve digestion. (1,000 steps

5. For every 45 minutes you spend at your computer, go for a five-minute walk around your office or neighborhood. (500 steps)

6. Walk a lap or two around the block before getting the mail out of your mailbox. (1,000 steps)

7. Need to take a personal call at work or dial a friend at home? Go outside and walk as you talk for 10 minutes. (1,000 steps)

Related: Walk Right: Find Out What Pace Burns the Most Fat »

8. While grocery shopping, leave your cart or basket at the end of each aisle, walk to get your items, then walk back. (1,000 steps)

9. Plan a family outing to a local attraction where walking is the main activity, like the zoo or an amusement park. (4,000 steps

10. Before you shop, walk the perimeter on the inside of the store twice. (1,000 steps)

11. During your kids’ 45-minute soccer practice, walk around the outside of the field for at least half the time. (2,000 steps)

12. Take your pup for a 20-minute stroll. Don’t have a dog? Ask a friend if you can borrow her pooch. (2,000 steps)

13. Before you hop in the car to run an errand, assess whether you could be walking instead. A mile to your destination and another mile home is an achievable distance to walk, and you’d save some gas, too. (4,000 steps)

14. Set your alarm clock 15 to 20 minutes earlier and use that extra time to loop around your neighborhood before heading to work (1,500-2,000 steps)

15. Instead of meeting your best friend for coffee, catch up during a 30-minute walk. (3,000 steps)

16. Ditch the drive-through and walk into the coffee shop—which probably will take you 30 seconds each way—to get your caffeine fix. (100 steps)

17. After you’ve finished grocery shopping, skip the parking-lot cart return and spend a minute walking the shopping cart all the way back to the front of the store. (100 steps)

18. Whenever you have to wait—like at the bus stop or airport—pace for at least three minutes. (300-400 steps)

19. Rather than carrying three grocery bags from the car into your house at once, take bags in one at a time, for a total of a minute. (100 steps)

20. Sip from a small coffee cup so you walk that 15 seconds to the coffeepot more frequently. Refill three times during the day. (150 steps)

21. Every night before bed, walk around your house and clean up for five minutes, placing pillows on the couch and putting away shoes. (250 steps