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:
- about 0.75 miles in the 15 minute walks and 1.6 miles in the 30 minute walks for weeks 1-3.
- about 0.85 miles for the 15 minute walks and 2 miles for the 30 minute walks
How to lose weight by walking – the weekly schedules
These are the effort levels for the program
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, as described, for 30 minutes.
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:
● 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
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.
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 stick with 5 minutes at level 3, but the level 2 time is increased to 15 minutes in total.
Distances for this week:
As your walking pace speeds up, you will of course be able to cover 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 5 schedule
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
For the final week of this program, we add 2 minutes at level 3 to the weekday walks. 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.
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