20 minute brisk walk for weight loss and cardio fitness

Improve your cardio fitness and burn some calories with this easy to follow 20 minute brisk walk program.  It uses a mixture of normal and brisk walking intervals to get your heart rate up for maximum benefit from your walk.

What is brisk walking?

At a brisk walking pace, you will be aware that your body is working harder than usual.  You will start to feel warmer and slightly out of breath.  Holding a conversation will not be as easy as it is at normal walking pace. For the average person, this will be a walking speed of around 4mph/6.5 kmph.

Brisk walking speeds

The six week plan

As you can see from the chart below, each week the walk is split into 5 intervals of normal speed and brisk walking. Although the walks stay at 20 minutes total length, the time walking at a brisk pace increases each week.

Mapping your route and timing the walking intervals

When planning your walking route, you have 3 options:

  • There and back: the most straightforward option. You walk for 10 minutes and then turn around and walk back.
  • A circular route: not necessarily circular, it can be any shape, but you plan a route that will bring you back to where you started without turning around.
  • A to B: you end your walk in a different place to where you started.

With an A to B route, you don’t need to plan the route, you just need to have a rough idea of where you want to walk. With the other options, you would need to plan your route. In order to do this, you need to know the distance you will be covering. Distance covered will vary a little from person to person as walking speeds vary, but at the average speeds shown in the table above, the distances would be as follows:

Brisk walking 6 weeks

To time the intervals accurately, you can use a fitness watch, phone stopwatch or fitness app, or an ordinary stopwatch.

How often should you walk?

So that your fitness improves enough each week to progress to the next week’s schedule, you should do the walk at least 3 times a week.  If you can manage 4 or 5 times, even better!

Comfort and safety

Make sure you’re comfortable walking:

  • Wear layers so that as you warm up at brisk walking pace you can remove some clothing
  • You don’t need trainers necessarily, but you should wear flat, well-fitting shoes
  • Take a bottle of water with you to ensure you stay hydrated. Read more about hydration.

This program should be safe for anyone in good health, but please check these safety guidelines.

Buying a treadmill for home use

Now that folding treadmills are widely available, having a home treadmill doesn’t mean you need a dedicated workout space. You can fold your treadmill up and store it out of the way between workouts. If you’re thinking of buying a home treadmill, see a buying guide here.

This is the schedule for the 6 weeks.

20 minute brisk walk chart 1406

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