How to lose weight walking – free 6 week program

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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.


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.

Download a printable of the schedule

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Week 1

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.

Lose weight walking - effort levels

Lose weight walking week 1 schedule


Week 2

This is the schedule for week 2:

Lose weight walking week 2 schedule

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.

Week 3

This is the schedule for week 3:

Lose weight walking week 3 schedule

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

Week 4

This is the schedule for week 4:

Lose weight walking week 4 schedule

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.

Week 5

This is the schedule for week 5:

Lose weight walking week 5 schedule

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.

Week 6

This is the schedule for week 6:

Lose weight walking week 6 schedule

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.

What next?

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.

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Lose weight walking - a 6 week interval walk program with free printable schedule and logs. Guide to planning a route also included.

Or see these posts for more ways to lose weight walking:

Benefits of walking for fitnessWalk plan20 minute interval walk

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