Getting in shape is easy with walking, and it’s great for fitness novices and devoted fitness practitioners. With the exception of a good pair of walking shoes, getting started is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t need special gym equipment to get started.
To begin, you must start where you are now. You shouldn’t compare your journey with anyone else’s or try to do more than you should to start. Fitness can’t be achieved overnight. It takes consistency and patience to get a fit body.
To kickstart a walking exercise program, you should keep the following in mind before you start:
- Set a Goal
Set a weekly goal to help you stay on track and maintain consistency. Getting in as much walking as you can into your weekly routine is a win, but the length and frequency of your walks can affect how much you gain from them.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, such as walking. This is an appropriate target for a new walker.
- Take on Challenges at Your Own Pace
Many factors affect your walking speed, such as your age, height, and fitness level. Also, the terrain you’re on, whether it’s pavement or a rough hill, will affect the outcome.
Regardless of how fast you walk, make sure you move at a pace that challenges your heart and improves your health. You will also notice your body getting warm and your heart rate rising if you move at a suitable pace.
- Stay Motivated
It can be difficult to stick to a new fitness routine, and sometimes you might be tempted to skip your workouts. This is normal. However, you may find it easier to stay motivated if you can remember why you wanted to become fit in the first place.
It could be that you want to lower down your cholesterol levels or you want to stay fit in the long run.
- Know The Benefits
A little knowledge about the benefits of walking can also encourage you to keep it up. The benefits of walking extend beyond your heart, bones, and joints. Among other things, it lowers your blood sugar levels, helps you lose weight, reduces the risk of heart disease, strengthens your immune system, etc.
How to Plan A Walking Schedule?
Each time you go for a walk, check your posture. During the first few minutes, you will want to walk at a moderate pace before speeding up. Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothing and flexible athletic shoes. You can walk indoors, outdoors, or use a gym machine such as a treadmill.
- Week One
You should begin your walk at a leisurely pace of 15 minutes. Consistency is key because this is how to build a habit, so you should walk every day. Make sure you take rest days at intervals, such as on day 3 and day 6. Your weekly target is to complete 60-75 minutes of walking during the first week.
- Week Two
Walking for 20 minutes, five days a week, can be done by adding five minutes per day. A day of exertion followed by a day of rest might be necessary in some cases. Your weekly target goal should be around 100 minutes.
During this week, you might feel soreness in your muscles, but that’s a good sign because that means your body is getting used to it.
- Week Three
For week 3, set the weekly target of 100-125 minutes. Add 5 minutes a day. This makes it 25 minutes. For five straight days, walk for 25 minutes.
- Week Four
You can increase your walking duration to 30 minutes. That makes it a weekly target of 120-150 minutes. If a target isn’t met in a particular week, repeat that week until comfortable with your progress.
Having been able to walk for 30 minutes comfortably, you are now ready to add different workouts to add intensity and endurance to your workout regime.
Beginners: How Fast Should They Walk?
For a moderate-intensity walking workout, walkers should go for a brisk walk pace because walks of this intensity are likely to provide the best health benefits.
Walking one mile in 20 minutes or less is considered moderate-intensity when maintaining a heart rate of 60 %- 76% of your maximum heart rate.
When you’re brisk walking, your breathing will feel heavier than usual, you’ll be able to carry on the conversation while walking, and you won’t feel breathless. During the initial weeks, your speed may be slower, and your heart rate may be lower.
You should aim to walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day without being injured. Increasing speed and intensity will come later.
Slow down if at any point you are experiencing difficulty during the walk, and return to your starting point. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of conditions such as a heart attack or stroke.
The activity of walking can fulfill daily recommended exercise needs for people of all ages and fitness levels. To keep track of your daily steps, consider getting yourself a pedometer or other fitness tracker.