6 week walking schedule to lose weight

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Walking is often overlooked as a way of exercising, because it’s something we all do every day.  But if you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, or don’t enjoy fitness activities, then walking can be an ideal solution.  You can get most of the benefits of exercise from a walking program, including maintaining a healthy weight. The plan below is a 6 week walking schedule to lose weight, based on interval walking at 3 different speeds. There are 15 minute walks on weekdays and 25 minute walks at the weekend. It can be done walking outside, on a treadmill, or a combination of both.

Walking schedule to lose weight

Walking schedule to lose weight 6 weeks

About the program

Safety and wellbeing

Walking is a safe and natural activity, but please read these general exercise guidelines before starting the program.

You should wear flat, comfortable shoes for your walking. You will probably get warmer as your walking speed increases, so it’s a good idea to wear a jacket or jumper that you can easily take off and carry.

Make sure you stay well hydrated. You should take a bottle of water on your walks and sip frequently, especially on the longer walks.

Planning your route

The program can be done outdoors or on a treadmill – or a mixture of both. If you’re using a treadmill, then the schedule is very easy to follow. You just set the right speed (see below) for the level and then walk for the time at that level. If you’re walking outside, then you’ll need to decide what sort of route you want:

“There and back” – you walk a certain distance then turn around and walk back to where you started

Circular route – you plot a route to bring you back where you started without turning and retracing your steps. Your route isn’t necessarily a circle, it could be any sort of shape.

“A to B” – you end up at a different location from where you started. You might walk somewhere and get a lift back for example.

The easiest way to walk for the right amount of time is a “there and back” route. You simply need to walk for roughly half the walk time given and then go back.  But if you want to follow a circular route or end up at a different location, then it’s useful to use a route planning app.

Walk distances for route planning

In order to plan a route, you need to know what distance you want to cover. There are 3 levels of walking speed for this program, as follows:

Effort levels for the program

  • Level 1 is a normal walking pace.
  • At level 2 you’re walking a bit faster – enough to make you aware of your breathing.
  • Level 3 is a fast walking pace, making you feel warmer and slightly out of breath.

Walking speeds will vary from person to person, so the distances given here are only approximate.  They’re based on these average walking speeds:

A moderate walking pace is 3 mph (5 kmh) for most people, this is what we’ll use as the level 1 speed.

3.75 mph (6 kmh) is a brisk pace – this will be the level 2 speed

4.5 mph (7 kmh) is fairly fast – this will be the level 3 speed

In the first week, the distances you would cover at these speeds are: About 0.75 miles (1.2 km)  in the 15 minute walks and 1.3 miles (2km) in the 25 minute walks.

Your distance covered will increase slightly as your walk speeds increase each week, so your route distance will need a little adjustment.

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.

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Walking schedule to lose weight – weekly breakdown

Effort levels for the program

  • Level 1 is a normal walking pace.
  • At level 2 you’re walking a bit faster – enough to make you aware of your breathing.
  • Level 3 is a fast walking pace, making you feel warmer and slightly out of breath.

Week 1 schedule

Week 1 is a gentle start, being mainly effort level 1 (normal walking speed), with a couple of 5 minute level 2 intervals at the weekend. The plan for week 1 is:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday you do a 15 minute walk at level 1
Saturday and Sunday you do intervals of level 1 and level 2 for 25 minutes

Walking schedule to lose weight week 1

Week 2 schedule

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’re sticking to a 15 minute walk at Level 1

On Saturday and Sunday, we’re adding a bit of progression:

  • 5 minute warm-up at level 1
  • 6 minutes at level 2
  • 3 minutes recovery at level 1
  • 6 minutes at level 2 again
  • 4 minute cool down at level 1

Walking schedule to lose weight week 2

Week 3 schedule

Week 3 is a very simple schedule. The weekday walks are still 15 minutes at level 1, while the weekend walk progresses to 15 minutes at level 2 with 5 minute warm ups and cool downs.

Week 3

Week 4 schedule

As you can see, this week the weekday walks pick up the pace a bit, with 5 minutes at level 2. At the weekend, we’re introducing 5 minutes at level 3.

Week 4

Week 5 schedule

For week 5 the weekday walks stay with 5 minutes at level 2, while the weekend walks increase the level 3 time to 7 minutes and decrease the warm up and cool down time to 4 minutes.

Walking schedule to lose weight week 5

Week 6 schedule

For the final week of this program, the weekday intervals step up to level 3. At the weekend, your level 3 interval increases to 10 minutes, with slight adjustments down for the level 2 intervals and cool down.

Week 6

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