1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How to Walk - The Absolute Beginner Walking Schedule

How Far, How Fast, How Often to Walk


Updated June 02, 2014

Couple walking downhill
Brad Wilson / The Image Bank / Getty Images

You've decided to start walking, and we've shown you good walking technique. In this section of our Walking for Beginners lessons, we'll cover:

The Absolute Beginner Schedule

Health goals: Walking a half hour a day or 3 hours per week is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. Walking 7 hours a week is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer and Type II diabetes. For this reason, I recommend that you build up to walking an hour a day, most days of the week.

Track your walks: Keeping records will keep you on track.

Build a Habit: Walk at least 5 days a week, even if some days you must decrease your time, in order to build your new healthy habit. Increase the time you spend walking each week before working on speed.

Week 1: Start with a daily 15 minute walk at an easy pace.
Walk five days the first week. We want to build a habit, so consistency is important. Spread out your rest days, such as making day 3 a rest day and day 6 a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 60 - 75 minutes.

Week 2: Add 5 minutes a day so you are walking 20 minutes, 5 days a week. Or you may wish to extend yourself more on some days, followed by a rest day.
Weekly total goal: 75 - 100 minutes.

Week 3: Add 5 minutes a day so you are walking 25 minutes, 5 days a week.
Weekly total goal: 100 - 125 minutes.

Week 4: Add 5 minutes a day to walk 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
Weekly total goal: 125 - 150 minutes.

Snags: If you find any week to be difficult, repeat that week rather than adding more time, until you are able to progress comfortably.

Graduate: Once you are able to walk 30 minutes at a time comfortably, progress to our Weekly Walking Workouts.

Let's Get Walking

Subscribe to our free 4-week daily email newsletter course to get you walking. Each day you receive a walking assignment following the Absolute Beginners Walking Schedule, plus tips on walking technique.
Let's Get Walking 4-Week Daily Newsletter

Next Page> How fast should beginners walk?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.