This program is based on doing 90 minutes walking each week, gradually increasing the effort over the course of 6 weeks. It uses intervals at 3 different walking speeds, to help you achieve a higher level of fitness than walking at one speed. The schedule changes every 2 weeks, so that your fitness will improve over the 6 weeks.
About the program
The 3 different speeds are measured by effort level.
● Level 1: a normal walking pace
● Level 2: a bit faster than normal walking speed, enough to make you breathe a bit heavier and feel warmer
● Level 3: at this level you are starting to feel out of breath and holding a conversation is more difficult
What you will need
- Comfortable clothes and shoes: You don’t need trainers but you should wear flat, well fitting shoes. Wearing layers that you can remove is a good idea so that you don’t overheat as you pick up your walking pace.
- Water: Make sure you always take some water out with you to avoid dehydration.
- A way of timing your intervals. You can use a fitness watch, phone stopwatch or fitness app, or an ordinary stopwatch.
Although walking is a natural, every day activity, please check these exercise guidelines before doing this program. Please also don’t forget your personal safety when planning a route.
Planning your route
The most straightforward way of walking for the right number of minutes, is to do half the minutes and then turn around and walk back again. If, however, you want to map out a route, there are plenty of online planners and apps available. To map a route, you’ll need to know the distance you’re going to be covering.
The walks are all slightly different and walking paces will differ from person to person, but based on average walking speeds at the 3 levels, you should cover approximately these distances:
Weeks 1 & 2 interval walks
10 minute walks 0.52 mile
20 minute walks 1.1 mile
Weeks 3 & 4 interval walks
10 minute walks 0.55 mile
20 minute walks 1.15 mile
Weeks 5 & 6 Interval walks
10 minute walks 0.6 mile
20 minute walks 1.2 mile
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, here are some points you should consider:
- Are you likely to run on it? If so, you should avoid very lightweight models. Also, a cushioned running/walking deck will help to absorb impact.
- Dimensions: there’s a slight variation in dimensions between models. If you’re tall, you might prefer a longer walking/running deck to allow for a longer stride. Obviously, the treadmill needs to fit in your chosen storage place when it is folded away.
- What sort of a console do you want? Is it important to you to have a multi-feature console with a choice of preset programs, or will you be happy with something simple that just lets you set speed and incline? Extra functions add to the cost of the treadmill, so think about whether you really need them.
- What is the incline range? Some treadmills only have a limited incline range. Models that offer up to 12% give you more options to vary your workouts and to challenge yourself more as your fitness improves.
- Maximum speed – if you run fast, or plan to do sprint intervals, you should bear the maximum speed in mind. For walking, or average speed running, any treadmill will be fine.
Recommended folding treadmill
This is a reasonably priced folding treadmill with an incline up to 12% and a maximum speed of 8mph (fairly fast running speed). The display screen shows time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate and you can connect your device to play music through the built in speakers.
There are 3 schedules – one for weeks 1 & 2, one for weeks 3 & 4 and one for weeks 5 & 6. As you work through the program, you will spend more minutes walking at the faster paces.
Every week there are three 10 minute walks and three 20 minute walks. The schedules set out the minutes at each level. All the walks are split up into intervals, with warm ups and cool downs at level 1 (normal walking pace).
Weeks 1 & 2
For the first 2 weeks, you only walk at levels 1 and 2:
Weeks 3 & 4
Week 3 introduces level 3 walking on the longer walks:
Weeks 5 & 6
In the last 2 weeks, both walks have level 3 walking: