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A Sample Walking Program

Experts recommend walking briskly on most days. Aim for a target of 30 minutes on most days, or 150 or more minutes a week. Walking programs can help you reach this goal by slowly increasing the frequency and the amount of time you walk. Try this walking program:

Coach instructing man how to use treadmill.

First week

  • Walk 3 times a week.

  • Walk for 5 minutes each time.

Second week

  • Walk 3 times a week.

  • Walk for 10 minutes each time.

Third week

  • Walk 3 times a week.

  • Walk for 13 minutes each time.

Fourth week

  • Walk 3 times a week.

  • Walk for 15 minutes each time.

Fifth week

  • Walk 4 times a week.

  • Walk for 15 minutes each time.

Sixth week and beyond

Gradually increase the number of times you walk each week and the number of minutes you walk each time until you reach 30 minutes on 5 to 7 days of the week.

Tips for getting the most from your walking program

  • Walk briskly. If you can sing, speed up. If you can’t talk easily, slow down.

  • Choose good walking shoes with padded soles and good arch support.

  • Don’t use hand or ankle weights. They can cause injuries.

  • Walk indoors if the weather is bad. Use a treadmill or walk inside a shopping mall.

Before you start walking, check with your healthcare provider if you're new to exercise, older than age 40, overweight, or a smoker. Also check with your provider if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, or any other health problems. Your provider can help you get started and stay safe.

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Trina Bellendir PT
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021
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