Beginning Walking Program Tips for a Strong Start to Better Fitness

Beginning-Walking-Program-Uber-WalkerMany people start a beginning walking program with the best intentions. But building up good walking habits can be tough, and beginning walkers often have trouble staying with a new beginning walking program. To keep you on track to the road to a healthier you, here are some important tips for a strong beginning walking program.

Before You Start a Beginning Walking Program

  • See your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for aerobic exercise, especially if you have serious health problems or haven’t exercised regularly for a long time.
  • Buy comfortable walking shoes and workout clothes. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but a good pair of shoes can inspire you to use them for their intended purpose. And cotton clothing helps prevent your body from overheating.
  • Set a schedule to meet your fitness goals. We recommend a 12-week beginning walking program, but it might be a good idea to consult your doctor about specific weight loss goals. Your schedule can also include walking routes and cross-training workouts as desired.

Getting in the Walking Habit

  • A good beginning walking program should include at least 5 workouts per week, or approximately 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week.
  • Always include basic stretching exercises for about 5 minutes before you begin walking.
  • Walk at a comfortable pace for the first 5 minutes before getting up to your ideal workout speed. You should aim for a brisk walking pace that is consistent but doesn’t leave you out of breath.
  • Walk with your head up, eyes forward, and arms moving naturally. As you gain confidence, you can add hand weights or other strength training as desired.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout. We recommend water as the best exercising aid. If the weather is warm, you should bring water with you on your walk.
  • Stop walking immediately if you feel tightness or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, or excessive sweating.
  • End each workout with a cool down. Slow your pace for the last 5 minutes, then stretch and relax for 10 minutes.
  • Below is a workout schedule for a 12-week beginning walking program:
Week Number of Days Warmup Moderate Pace Brisk Walking Cool Down Total Minutes/Day
1 5 5 5 0 5 15
2 5 5 10 0 5 20
3 5 5 15 0 5 25
4 5 5 10 5 5 25
5 5 5 10 10 5 30
6 5 5 5 15 5 30
7 5 5 0 10 5 30
8 5 5 0 25 5 35
9 5 5 0 30 5 40
10 6 5 0 30 5 40
11 6 5 0 35 5 45
12 7 5 0 35 5 45

General Beginning Walking Program Tips

  • If you miss a day or two in your workout schedule, don’t get discouraged. Gaining healthy walking habits sometimes takes time, and setbacks are inevitable. Just pick up where you left off and renew your determination to succeed.

If your beginning walking program calls for outdoor walking, bad weather can be a challenge to your schedule. Access to a treadmill is the obvious solution, but if that is beyond your means, cross train with another form for exercise, such as swimming, cycling, martial arts, or strength training (sit-ups, push-ups, etc.).