Use this plan to walk off weight
When you are walking to lose weight, following a workout schedule will help you be consistent and ensure you are getting the amount of exercise you need to burn calories and fat. But your walking workout doesn’t have to be the same old grind every day. It is good to alternate short walking days and long walking days, with a rest day as needed.
A weight loss walking schedule should provide the amount of moderate-intensity exercise and strength exercise recommended by the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your total moderate-intensity exercise time for the week should be at least 150 minutes for health and fitness, and more is better for maintaining weight loss. You should exercise most days of the week.
Weight Loss Workout Plan
You can use this example schedule and modify the days as needed. The time listed is at your target heart rate and pace, after warming up. You can break up the long walks into two or shorter walks if your schedule doesn’t allow you enough time for one long walk in a day.
- Sunday: Long walking workout with 60 minutes at a brisk pace
- Monday: Day off with no walking workout, but you can enjoy easy strolls.
- Tuesday: Short walking workout with 30 minutes at a brisk pace, plus a strength training workout
- Wednesday: Short walking workout with 30 minutes at a brisk pace
- Thursday: Long walking workout of 60 minutes at a brisk pace
- Friday: Short walking workout with 30 minutes at a brisk pace, plus a strength training workout.
- Saturday: Long easy walking day with 30 minutes at a brisk pace, then 30 to 90 more minutes at an easy pace.
While the number of calories you burn depends on your weight and the distance you walk, this plan can burn 2000 calories per week for the average walker.
Walking Workouts for Weight Loss
Here are details about the different types of workouts you can use in building your personal plan. A brisk pace is one where you are breathing harder than usual and your heart rate is at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse (by hand or using an app), using a fitness band that has heart rate detection, or wearing a heart rate monitor.
- Short Walking Workout
- Warm up at an easy pace for three to five minutes.
- Speed up to a brisk walk at the target pace for 30 minutes.
- Slow to an easy pace for three to five minutes.
- You may want to do a gentle stretching routine after your warm-up or after you finish your walk.
- Very Short Walking Workout
If you don’t have time for a sustained walk, find the time to take two to four 15-minute walks. Your time at a brisk pace for the day should add up to at least 30 minutes.
- Warm up at an easy pace for one to three minutes.
- Speed up to a brisk pace for at least 10 minutes.
- Slow to an easy pace for one to three minutes.
- Long Walking Workout
- Warm up for five minutes at an easy pace.
- Walk at a brisk walking pace for 60 minutes.
- Slow to an easy pace for five minutes.
- Long Easy Walking Workout
You can spice up this workout by joining in a local charity walk or joining a walking group or club for their workouts.
- Warm up for five minutes at an easy pace.
- Walk at the target brisk walking pace for 30 minutes.
- Slow to an easy pace for an additional 30 to 90 minutes.
When you are walking for weight loss, you should take no more than one to two days off in a week. On your day off, you can still enjoy easy strolls and you want to ensure you aren’t sitting for long periods.
Strength training is part of the healthy exercise recommended for everyone to reduce health risks. When you are losing weight, it can help maintain and even build healthy muscle. Aim to include strength training workouts two days per week. Your short walking day or your day off from walking might be convenient times to work these into your schedule.
Feeling Worn Out?
If your walking workout leaves you feeling sore or worn out the next day, take a day off. If this happens each day that you walk, check your heart rate to be sure you are not overdoing it. Drop back to 50 percent or less of your target heart rate and cut back on the number of long days in preference for short days.
Building Your Walking Time
If you are new to walking, it is best to build up your walking time gradually. If you have been walking for less than 30 minutes at a time, start with a 10-minute or 20-minute walk to see how you do. Repeat that walk daily and add a couple of minutes of walking time to it after the first week. Continue to do this so you steadily improve your endurance.
Similarly, gradually extend your long walking days if you haven’t already been walking for 45 minutes or more continuously. Just add five more minutes of walking time to the workout every week until you reach 60 minutes.
A Word From Verywell
Walking is a good cardio exercise that can be part of your weight loss efforts. You will also need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day, so it can help to track your food with a food diary or app or follow a structured diet plan. The amount of exercise recommended for weight loss fits well with what everyone needs to reduce their health risks. By adopting this schedule, you will be on the path to a healthier life at any weight.
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