Walking Program to Lose Weight




A sample walking program for weight loss will vary depending upon the exerciser’s fitness level (beginner, intermediate, advanced); however, all walkers should warm-up with a slow walk or marching for 5 minutes prior to his/her workout and end the workout with a 5-minute cool down, followed by stretching. For best results, all walking programs should include at least two total body resistance training sessions for muscle toning.

You may use resistance tubing, a stability ball, free weights, dumbbells or your own body weight to enhance muscular strength and endurance. Even if you are an intermediate-level exerciser, as long as you are new to walking, the best option is to build up to your target duration, speed and intensity level slowly. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends increasing these factors over 12 weeks.

If you are trying to lose weight, maintain a walking schedule of least five sessions per week after the three month mark. If you are a beginning exerciser, start with three walks weekly and build up to five walks per week. Regardless of whether you are walking on a treadmill or outdoors, try ‘interval training’ or incorporating short periods of increased speed and/or incline throughout your workout. This sample walking schedule for weight loss might be appropriate for the intermediate-level exerciser. ‘Brisk to very brisk walking’ is 3.5 to 4.5 miles per hour (mph). Do not forget to stretch post cool-down. This is only a suggested schedule. For a personalized/customized workout regimen, consult a certified personal trainer and/or other qualified fitness professional.

Week Warm-up Brisk Walking Cool-down Frequency
1 5 minutes 10 minutes 5 minutes 4 times/wk
2 5 minutes 15 minutes 5 minutes 4 times/wk
3 5 minutes 20 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
4 5 minutes 25 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
5 5 minutes 30 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
6 5 minutes 30 minutes 5 minutes 4 times/wk
7 5 minutes 35 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
8 5 minutes 40 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
9 5 minutes 45 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
10 5 minutes 45 minutes 5 minutes 4 times/wk
11 5 minutes 50 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk
12 5 minutes 50 minutes 5 minutes 5 times/wk

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