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

Discuss in my forum

Walking: 30-Day Quick Start Guide for Beginners

By

Updated May 29, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Three women walking along pier, rear view
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

A brisk walk for 30 to 60 minutes per day is recommended for health and weight management. Here is how to get started fitness walking.

Walking Quick Start Day 1

  • What you will need: comfortable walking shoes and comfortable walking clothing. Treadmill or walking location.
  • Start with a 15 minute walk at an easy pace.
  • Listen to your body. Be aware of warning signs of heart attack or stroke vs. normal signs of exertion.
  • At the end of your walk, do a light stretching routine. You may do this after warming up once you are doing longer and faster walks.
  • Keep a record of your walking time each day, and make notes about how your shoes felt, how your body felt, and how easy or hard the 15 minute walk was for you. Walking logs and trackers
  • During your first walking day and first walking week, you may have shin splint pain. This is common for people who begin fitness walking.
  • Sign up for the free Let's Get Walking beginners daily tutorial by email.

Walking Quick Start Week 1

  • Walk at least five days a week for 15 minutes at a time, even if some days you must decrease your time. Walk at an easy pace the first week, building up a baseline of walking activity before working on speed.
  • Pay attention to your walking posture and walking form. Walking Technique for Beginners
  • Weekly total goal: 60 - 75 minutes.

Walking Quick Start Week 2

  • Add five 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.
  • Continue to work on your walking posture and form.
  • After five minutes at an easy pace, walk at a moderate pace where may be breathing noticeably but are able to carry on a full conversation while walking and are not out of breath.
  • Building up your walking time and using good walking form are more important than pace, so if you need to take it easier to get in the full walking time, you can use an easy pace.
  • Do the light warm-up stretching routine after five minutes of walking, or use it after your walk.
  • Add an abdominal core workout two to three times a week to strengthen your abdominal muscles, which will help you maintain good walking posture.
  • Assess your walking shoes, you may need to get new shoes that are better suited for fitness walking. What to look for in fitness walking shoes.

Walking Quick Start Week 3

  • Add five minutes a day so you are walking 25 minutes, five days a week.
  • Walk at a moderate pace, maintaining good walking form.
  • Weekly total goal: 100 - 125 minutes.
  • Continue stretching and abdominal workouts.

Walking Quick Start Week 4

  • Add five minutes a day to walk 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • Walk at a moderate pace, maintaining good walking form.
  • Weekly total goal: 125 - 150 minutes.
  • Continue stretching and abdominal workouts.

Snags

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

Beyond the Quick Start

Once you are able to walk 30 minutes at a time comfortably, you can continue your progress.

More Quick-Start Guides

General Fitness Quick-Start Guide
Running Quick-Start Guide
Yoga Quick-Start Guide
Pilates Quick-Start Guide
Weight Training Quick-Start Guide

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

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