30 day walking challenge – improve your fitness every day


Last updated on May 21st, 2022 at 10:54 pm

You should find this 30 day walking challenge easy to fit into your every day life.  It starts off with a 5 minute walk and most of the walks are under 15 minutes. The speed intervals help you gradually build up your walking speed.  Walking at faster speeds brings about greater improvements to cardio health and burns more calories. There are 3 speeds in this program:

  • Normal walking pace
  • Moderately fast walking – a bit quicker than normal pace. You start to feel like you’re making an effort, but you’re not feeling out of breath.
  • Fast walking – this speed makes you feel a bit warmer and your breathing rate increases. Holding a conversation is more difficult at this speed.

30 day walking challenge schedule (see below for PDF printable)

30 day walking challenge PDF

The chart is colour coded, using the different colours to represent the different speed levels:

Pink = normal walking speed
Orange = moderately fast walking
Red = fast walking

Days 1-6

This is straightforward walking at normal pace.  The walking time increases by one minute each day.

Days 8-13

On day 8 we introduce some moderate speed walking.  Over the next few days, the time at this speed gradually increases.

Days 15-30

The second half of the challenge includes walking at all 3 speeds.  For the last few days, level 2 is dropped and the walks consist of a warm up and cool down with a fast walk in between.

Your walking route

The distance covered increases each day. At average walking speeds for the 3 levels, the distance you cover on day 1 would be around a quarter of a mile (0.4 km). However, it increases over the course of the challenge to 0.7 mile (1.1 km)on the last day. This means that if you wanted to map a round trip or an A to B route you would have to do a different one for each day.  To keep it simple:

  • Plot a route of about half a mile (0.8km).
  • Each day, walk along your route for half the given time, then turn around and walk back.

Each day you’ll get a bit further along your route before turning round.

The health and fitness benefits of walking

  1. Burns calories
  2. Makes your heart stronger
  3. Improves your circulation
  4. Reduces stress and anxiety
  5. Improves mood
  6. Strengthens your muscles, ligaments and tendons
  7. Improves your flexibility
  8. Improves your balance and coordination
  9. Helps build or maintain bone mineral density (meaning reduced risk of osteoporosis)
  10. Improves joint mobility

Safety and comfort when walking

Although walking is a natural activity that we do every day, fast walking can be strenuous. Please read these general exercise safety notes before you start.

You will probably get quite warm during the faster intervals, so it’s best to wear layers that can be easily removed. Training shoes aren’t necessary, but you should wear flat, comfortable shoes. Walking in heels isn’t good for feet or posture. Also, make sure you’re properly hydrated before you start and you may want to take a water bottle to sip from as you’re walking.

30 day walking challenge PDF download

30 day walking challenge PDF printable

Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get a link to the 30 day walking challenge schedule PDF download e-mailed to you:

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The first will ask you for a one-click confirmation of your subscription
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll get a second e-mail with a link to your download and a separate welcome e-mail

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Challenge FAQs

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:58 pm

All exercise is beneficial. Doing exercise most days for 30 days will result in improvements to your fitness and muscle tone, but ideally you should keep exercising once the challenge is finished.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

The first day of the challenge should feel like it needs a bit of effort, but not too much. If you really struggle with day 1, then you probably won’t get through the challenge. The idea with the challenges on this site is that the first few days get you used to the exercises and the daily habit. Usually about halfway through the challenge the effort levels start to increase more quickly.

Avoid challenges that increase effort levels very quickly – they’re simply not realistic. It’s unlikely that, for example, you would be able to increase how many squats you are able to do by 10 a day for 30 days, or increase your plank hold time by 10 seconds a day for 30 days.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

In general, allowing muscles 48 hours between workouts is good because it gives our bodies time to recover and adapt. Challenges are generally short workouts and for a limited period of time (usually 30 days), so not having many rest days won’t be a problem. With challenges that alternate exercises each day, it’s not an issue, because you’re using different muscles.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

Fitness improvements don’t always happen in a predictable way. Sometimes we’re just not as strong or energetic for no apparent reason, or we hit a plateau. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to complete the day’s challenge, you can try one of the following:

  • Take a couple of days off and start again where you left off
  • Do the challenge on alternate days rather than every day
  • Instead of increasing the effort every day, stay at the same level for 2 or 3 days and then go onto the next day of the challenge

Obviously these solutions mean the challenge will last longer, but you’ll still benefit from doing it.

Do you have a question?

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