We all know that exercise helps with weight loss, but it can be hard to fit exercise into a busy schedule. This Lose Weight Walking program is designed to be easy to fit in: just 15 minutes of walking a day during the week, with longer 30 minute walks at the weekend. The program uses speed intervals, so that you can get the most out of the time you spend walking.
Planning a route
Your route will depend on when you want to fit your walk in. If you work outside the home, for example, then your weekday walks could maybe be on your lunch break. At the weekend you might have a bit more time and so maybe you could walk in the park or some other open space.
Mapping your route out
You can, of course, just walk for half the time and then turn around and walk back. But if you want to map a route out, the easiest way is to use an online route planner. First, you need to know what distance you will cover. There are 3 effort levels for this program. The actual speed in miles per hour at these levels will vary from person to person. However, assuming average speeds at these effort levels, you should cover around 0.75 miles on the short walk and 1.6 miles on the longer walk. See here for a tutorial using the Mapometer route planner.
Once you have a route planned out, then you’re ready to go. As the walking speed increases throughout the course, you’ll cover your route more quickly, so we’ll adjust the distances up in week 4.
How logging you walks helps
Research shows that keeping an exercise diary is useful in helping people to stick to their exercise plans. If you record information about when you exercise and when you miss sessions, it can help you to spot patterns of when you’re most likely and least likely to want to exercise.
There are printable downloads available (see below) of logs for each of the 6 weeks included in this program. You can keep a record of how well you are sticking to your plan. There is also a space to record the reason if you didn’t do the walk as planned. Looking back over these sheets at the end of the week will help you with planning the best time for your walks in the following week.
The How to Lose Weight Walking Program
Note: walking is a safe and natural activity, but please check out my general exercise safety guidelines here.
The effort levels are shown below, together with the week 1 schedule.
It’s a nice gentle start for week 1 of the lose weight walking program, with 2 rest days and most of the walking at level 1. The plan for week 1 is:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday you do a 15 minute walk at level 1
Saturday and Sunday you do intervals of level 1 and level 2, as shown in the schedule, for 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to use the log sheet to track your progress and help you to plan next week’s walks.
This is the schedule for week 2:
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we’re sticking to a 15 minute walk at Level 1
On Saturday and Sunday, we’re adding a bit of progression:
● 8 minute warm-up at level 1
● 5 minutes at level 2
● 2 minutes picking the pace up to level 3
● back to level 1 for 5 minutes to get your breath back
● another 5 minutes at level 2
● finally, 5 minutes at level 1 to finish.
We’re using the same distances as last week, that’s 0.75 miles for the short walk and 1.6 miles for the longer walk.
This is the schedule for week 3:
As you can see, on weekdays we’re still sticking to the 15 minutes at level 1 – we’ll start to take this up a notch next week.
At the weekend we’re increasing our time walking at level 3, so we have:
- 5 minutes warm-up at level 1
- 5 minutes fast walking at level 3
- 10 minutes at level 2 – you’ll be nice and warm from your fast walking and this will keep your heart rate up and burn some calories
- 10 minutes at level 1 – gradually bringing your heart rate down, but still burning calories
This is the schedule for week 4:
This week the weekday walks pick up the pace a bit, with 5 minutes at level 2. At the weekend, we stick with 5 minutes at level 3, but the level 2 time is increased to 15 minutes in total.
Distances for this week
As your walking pace speeds up, you will of course be able to cover more distance in the time, so this week we’re going to increase the distances a bit. The distance for the short walk is now 0.85 miles and the distance for the longer one is 2 miles. So, if you are using a planned route, then you need to go back to Mapometer (or whichever route planner you’re using) and adjust your distances upwards.
This is the schedule for week 5:
So, for week 5 we’re spending a bit more of the weekday walks at level 2 and in the weekend walks we’re taking another 5 minutes up to level 3. Following the warm-up in the weekend walk, we go straight into level 3, which should get the heart rate up. Then there’s 5 minutes to allow the heart rate to recover a little before another 5 at level 3. Following this, it’s a gradual cool down through level 2 to level 1.
This is the schedule for week 6:
On the schedule this week, we add 2 minutes at level 3 to the weekday walks. At the weekend, the first level 3 interval goes up to 7 minutes, with an 8 minute recovery at level 2, before another 5 minutes at level 3.
Over the 6 weeks, this program progresses from a gentle start in week 1 to quite a vigorous 30 minute walk in week 6. You could stay at this level, but if you want to keep progressing and get more fit and toned, there are plenty of ways you can challenge yourself more. You can either keep increasing the intensity of your walks, or start adding in other fitness activities. For more on this, see this post.
Download printables of the full schedule and log sheets, plus a leg stretch chart
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