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Walking Programs for Beginners


This article provides beginner walking workouts to get you started on developing a walking habit. Walking is the most popular form of exercise for general good health. It provides a cardiovascular workout; is weight-bearing, which strengthens the bones and helps prevent osteoporosis; and is low-impact, which protects joints from injury.

Walking is beneficial in prevention of many medical conditions such as: Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart problems and arthritis. It also improves your overall emotional health and well-being and makes you look and feel younger.

Here are 4 walking workout programs to begin or extend a regular walking program. They are geared towards the beginner but can be adapted to suit any experience level. They can be used on a treadmill or outdoors.

Walking Program 1 is a very simple 12 week beginner’s workout recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Week One: Begin by warming up with simple stretches and a 5 minute walk at a moderate speed. Continue your walk with a 5 minute segment at a brisk pace and conclude your walk slowing down for 5 minutes as a cool down.

Weeks Two –Six: Increase your brisk walking segment by 2 minutes each week. At the end of six weeks you will be doing 15 minutes during the brisk walking segment.

Week Seven: Increase your brisk walking segment to 18 minutes.

Weeks 8-12: Add 2 minutes of brisk walking each week.

At the end of 12 weeks you will be walking briskly for 30 minutes 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes per week. This is the recommended total minutes per week for adults to engage in moderate aerobic activity, as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Walking Program 2 is from “The Consumer Guide@ Basic Starter Program”. This starter program recommends walking fast enough to get your heart rate into the lower end of your target zone. Refer to Related Links below for an Age Predicted Heart Rate Chart. Use the chart to determine what your working heart rate should be based on your age and the zone you want to exercise in.

Level 1: Walk 20 minute a day 3 to 5 times a week = 60-100 minutes per week
Level 2: Walk 25 minute a day 3 to 5 days per week = 75-125 minutes per week
Level 3: Walk 30 minute a day 3 to 5 days per week = 90-150 minutes per week
Levels 4-6: Increase walking time by 5 minutes each week for 3 to 5 days per week

If the Starter Program is too difficult for you or you have health problems you can follow the “Consumer Guide@ Special Starter Program.

Level 1: Walk 10 minutes a day 3 to 5 days a week = 30-50 minutes per week
Level 2: Walk 12 minutes a day 3 to 5 days a week = 36-60 minutes per week
Level 3: Walk 14 minutes a day 3 to 5 days a week = 42-70 minutes per week
Level 4-6: Increase walking time by 2 minutes each week for 3 to 5 days per week

Walking Program 3 is a mix and match walking workout which provides lots of variety. Included are 3 different types of walks with different durations and intensities. You will choose a combination of walks for your 3 to 5 day per week workout.

Walk 1: 10 Minute Speedy
When you are short on time work in short burst 10 minute walks as often as you can throughout the day. Three 10 minute walks is your goal.

Walk 2: 30 Minute Relaxation
This walk is done at whatever speed you are comfortable with while maintaining a consistent rhythm. The goal is to allow the mind to be at ease by using a distraction technique. Repeating a simple mantra as you walk is a great way to maintain your rhythm. Your mantra can be anything as long as it is easy such as: “right foot, left foot”; or try counting your steps “1 step, 2 step”. Another idea is to listen to music. Make a playlist just for this specific walk with songs to match your rhythm.

Walk 3: 30-40 Minute Fat Burning Interval Walk
5 minutes at a moderate pace as a warm-up
5 minutes speed up to a brisk but not fast pace
3 minutes all out fast pace
2 minutes moderate recovery pace
3 minutes brisk pace, swinging your arms
2 minutes all out fast pace
3 minutes moderate recovery pace
5 minutes brisk walk
2 minutes moderate recovery pace for cool-down
THIS ENDS a 30 minute walk. If you want to continue for 40 minutes add:

3 minutes all out fast pace
3 minutes brisk pace, swinging your arms
4 minutes moderate recovery pace for cool-down

Walking Program 4 is a simple walking workout based on heart rate training zones.

•5 minute warm-up at easy pace
•20 minute segment keeping your heart rate in the zone that meets your goals. For instance if you are walking for weight loss then you will want to keep your heart rate in the Training Zone. Refer to the Related below for an Age Predicted Heart Rate Chart. Use the chart to determine what your working heart rate should be based on your age and the zone you want to exercise in.
•5 minute cool-down at easy pace

Safety is your first priority so don’t try to go too far too fast. Use your time for exercise wisely and modify the programs to suit your personal health needs. Be healthy, be happy!

Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine or adding new exercises to a current routine. See Related Links Below

To Purchas my EBOOK click here: Exercise Basics

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Content copyright © 2014 by Terri Johansen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Terri Johansen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Terri Johansen for details.

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