Stay motivated to walk for health and fitness all year with this monthly walking challenge plan. There’s a different walking plan for each month to keep you challenged and stop you from getting bored. You can download a printable of the yearly plan at the end of the post.
Monthly walking challenge – the 12 plans
Most of the walk plans use speed intervals. There are 3 levels of speed as follows:
January – level 1 & 2 interval walk | 3 times a week
The first plan of the year is a 30 minute walk to do 3 times a week. This walk uses speed intervals at level 1 and level 2:
- Warm up at level 1
- 6 minutes at level 2 to increase your heart rate
- Recover for 6 minutes at level 1
- Another 6 minutes at level 2
- Cool down at level 1
February – daily challenge
February’s challenge is to walk 15 minutes every day. The walk is split up into 3 x 5 minute intervals:
- Warm up level 1 for 5 minutes
- Level 2 for 5 minutes
- Cool down level 1 for 5 minutes
March – ladder walk | 3 times a week
The March walk follows the ladder workout format. It starts with 5 minutes at level 1, followed by 1 minute at level 2. As you progress through the walk, the level 1 intervals get shorter and the level 2 ones get longer.
April – walk a mile a day
This month’s challenge is to do a mile at normal walking pace (level 1) every day, apart from a few rest days. If you prefer to measure your walk in km or steps, a mile is 1.6km or 2,000 steps.
May – 15 minute walk alternate level 2 and level 3 challenge
May’s plan uses the same 15 minute walk interval pattern as February and also introduces a 15 minute walk with 5 minutes at level 3. The level 2 and level 3 walks alternate daily. Rest on the 31st!
June – 30 minute walk with 3 speed intervals | 3 times a week
The June plan is another 30 minute walk to do 3 times a week, but this time there’s an interval at level 3.
July – 90 minutes 6 day walking plan
This time, the walks are split up over 6 days. So you still do 90 minutes a week, but the walks are shorter. Level 3 is included on the 20 minute walk, but not the 10 minute one.
August pyramid walk | 3 times a week
In a pyramid workout, the effort peaks in the middle. There are other walks in this monthly walking challenge that have the highest level in the middle. The difference with the August plan is that it is also the longest interval.
September effort and recovery walk | 3 times a week
The September walk is split up into bursts of level 3 effort alternating with level 1 recovery time.
October negative split walk | 3 times a week
In a negative split, the second half is more strenuous. The first 15 minutes of October’s challenge consists of 5 minutes warm up and 10 minutes at level 2. This is followed by 10 minutes at level 3 and a 5 minute cooldown. Increasing your effort after 15 minutes can help to improve your stamina. You may find it more difficult to motivate yourself to work harder when you’ve already been working for 15 minutes. Not necessarily so, though. For some people, it’s psychologically easier to work harder when there is less time to go.
November – increase the challenge each day
November follows the popular challenge style of increasing the effort a little each day. The walks are all at level 1, starting at 10 minutes on day 1 and finishing with 35 minutes on day 30.
December – walk a total of 300 minutes
As there is a lot going on in December for most of us and fitness programs are harder to stick to, December’s plan is flexible. You just need to do a total of 300 minutes through the month. Fit your walks in whenever you get the chance and tick off how many lots of 10 minutes you have managed each day. So, for example, if you do a 30 minute walk one day, then tick off 3 boxes.
Planning your routes
Because there are lots of different walk lengths and patterns, the most straightforward thing to do is to do “there and back again” walks. That is, you walk for half the total time of the walk and then turn around and walk back. Planning circular or “A to B” walks would be time consuming because of the variety of walk times and patterns.
Buying a treadmill for home use
If you prefer indoor walking, a folding treadmill is a good solution. You can fold it 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.
Download the monthly walking challenge PDF printable
The PDF includes all 12 walks in the monthly walking challenge. Enter your e-mail address below to get the download link sent to you.
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