You want to develop a good, consistent walking habit to assist your weight loss. But it is also good to alternate short walking days and long walking days and take a rest day as needed.
Your target walking pace should be a brisk walking pace at 50-70% of maximum heart rate. Use the Heart Rate Calculator to find the right heart rate for your age. At this pace, you should be breathing noticeably but able to speak in full sentences.
Short Day: Warm up at an easy pace for five minutes. Speed up to a brisk walk at the target pace for 30 minutes. Slow to easy pace for 5 minutes. You may want to do a gentle stretching routine after your warm-up and/or after you finish your walk.
If you don't have time for a sustained walk, find the time to take two or three 15-minute walks. Maximize Your 15-Minute Walk
Long Day: Warm up for five to 10 minutes at an easy pace. Stretch. Walk at the target brisk walking pace for 60 minutes. Slow to easy pace for 5 minutes. Finish with gentle stretching.
Long Easy Day: Warm up for five to 10 minutes at an easy pace. Stretch. Walk at the target brisk walking pace for 30 minutes. Slow to easy pace for additional 30 to 90 minutes. Finish with gentle stretching.
Day Off: When walking for weight loss, you should take no more than one to two days off in a week.
Alternate these days to fit your personal weekly schedule.
Example: Day : Workout - Time at Target Heart Rate
Sun.: Long Day - 60 min.
Mon.: Day Off - 0 min.
Tue.: Short Day - 30 min.
Wed.: Short Day - 30 min.
Thu.: Long Day - 60 min.
Fri.: Short Day - 30 min.
Sat.: Long Easy Day 30 min. at target heart rate, 30-90 easy.
The Long Easy Day may be spiced up by joining in a local charity walking event or joining a walking group or club for their workouts.
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% or less of your target heart rate and cut back on the number of long days in preference for short days.
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