Before you set your personal walking goals, you should first figure out your starting point. Here’s how:
Find your baseline
Your baseline is your current walking activity. There are two ways to find your baseline:
1) Use a pedometer to count your steps for seven days.
2) Walk briskly for 30 minutes at least five days a week, and keep track of your daily walking activity.
Include all your normal walking — up the stairs at home, to and from lunch, etc. — and record your total number of steps in your walking log. If you’re not using a pedometer, keep track of the minutes you spend walking.
Set your benchmark
Look at your first week’s walking log. Your benchmark is the highest number of steps – or minutes – you walked on any given day. Use that number as your daily goal for the second and third weeks.
Record your daily walks, and at the end of the third week, review your log again. If you averaged your goal, add another 500 steps or several more minutes to your daily goal for the fourth and fifth weeks.
At the end of each two-week period, add 500 steps or several more minutes to your walking goal. Continue logging your activity so you can measure your progress. If you didn’t reach your goal, walk at the same level until you build enough endurance to increase your target.