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Beginner Walking Plan

Lee-Ann Watanabe

Walking for health and fitness is one of the most underrated activities for health and weight management. Brisk walking for a total of five hours per week is associated with maintaining weight loss and even greater health benefits. You should build up to walking for an hour a day, most days of the week.

You can build a walking habit by walking at least five days per week and tracking your walks. If you have an ongoing health condition, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Walking Schedule
You will want to walk at an easy pace for a couple of minutes before you speed up. Wear flexible athletic shoes and comfortable clothing. You can do your walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill.

Week 1
Start with a daily 15-minute walk at an easy pace. Walk five days the first week. You want to build a habit, so consistency is important. Spread out your rest days, such as making day 3 a rest day and day 6 a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 60 to 75 minutes

Week 2
Add five minutes a day so you are walking for 20 minutes, five days a week. Or, you may wish to extend yourself more on some days, followed by a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 75 to 100 minutes

Week 3
Add five minutes a day so you are walking for 25 minutes, five days a week.
Weekly total goal: 100 to 125 minutes

Week 4
Add five minutes a day to walk for 30 minutes, five days a week.
Weekly total goal: 125 to 150 minutes

Tips
If you find any week to be difficult, repeat that week rather than adding more time. Do this until you are able to progress comfortably. Once you are able to walk for 30 minutes at a time comfortably, you are ready to use a variety of different workouts to add intensity and endurance.

How Fast Should Beginners Walk?
Walkers should aim for a brisk walking pace to achieve a moderate-intensity walking workout. Moderate intensity is usually associated with walking a mile in 20 minutes or less.

What brisk walking feels like:
-Your breathing is heavier than normal.
-You are still able to carry on a full conversation while walking.
-You are not out of breath.

Your primary goal is to be able to walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day without injury. Be consistent in how often and how far you walk before you try to walk faster.

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