How to lose weight by walking

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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.  Although it’s possible to lose weight by walking regularly, for best results walking should be combined with a healthy diet.

How the program works

The program is a 6 week walking schedule with intervals at 3 different walking speeds. There are 15 minute walks Tuesday to Friday and 30 minute walks Saturday and Sunday.  Each week a greater part of the walks are at the faster walking speeds, so that they become more challenging.

Planning your route

The easiest way to walk for the right amount of time is to walk for roughly half the time and then go back.  But if you want to end up at a different location, then it’s useful to use a route planner.  There are several available online, alternatively you can use an app.

In order to plan your route, you need to know what distance you want to cover. As you can see below, there are 3 levels of walking speed for this program. 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 3mph for most people, this is what we’ll take as the level 1 speed.

3.75 mph is a brisk pace – this will be the level 2 speed

4.5 is fairly fast – this will be the level 3 speed

At these speeds you would cover in weeks 1-3:

About 0.75 miles in the 15 minute walks and 1.6 miles in the 30 minute walks

(See below for weeks 4-6)

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.

How to lose weight by walking – the weekly schedules

Weeks 1-3

Week 1 schedule

week 1

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, as described, for 30 minutes.

Week 2 schedule

week 2

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:

  • 8 minute warm-up at level 1
  • 5 minutes at level 2
  • 2 minutes picking the pace up to level 3
  • back to level 1 for 5 minutes to get your breath back
  • another 5 minutes at level 2
  • finally, 5 minutes at level 1 to finish.

We’re using the same distances as last week, that’s 0.75 miles for the short walk and
1.6 miles for the longer walk.

Week 3 schedule

week 3

In week 3 we have just one rest day, the level 3 interval at the weekend goes up to 5 minutes and the level 2 intervals join together to make one 10 minute interval.

Weeks 4-6

As your walking pace speeds up, you’ll be covering more distance in the time, so this week we’re going to increase the distances a bit. The distance for the short walk is now 0.85 miles and the distance for the longer one is 2 miles.

Week 4 schedule

Lose weight by walking week 4

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 stick with 5 minutes at level 3, but the level 2 time is increased to 15 minutes in total.

Week 5 schedule

Lose weight by walking week 5

So, for week 5 we’re spending a bit more of the weekday walks at level 2 and in the weekend walks we’re taking another 5 minutes up to level 3. After the warm-up in the weekend walk, we go straight into level 3, which should get the heart rate up. Then there’s 5 minutes to allow the heart rate to recover a little before another 5 at level 3. Following this, it’s a gradual cool down through level 2 to level 1.

Week 6 schedule

Lose weight by walking week 6

For the final week of this program, the weekday walks are split between normal and fast walking. At the weekend, the first level 3 interval goes up to 7 minutes, with an 8 minute recovery at level 2, before another 5 minutes at level 3.

Get the lose weight by walking printable schedule

Lose weight walking free printable

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Other ideas to help you lose weight by walking:

Brisk walking programFree walking challenge

 


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