Setting a Walking Schedule to Build Your Walking Habit

Walking - Taking a Step
Walking - Taking a Step. Ruslan Dashinsky/E+/Getty Images

Repetition is the key to building a habit. You've set your fitness goals and written them down. Now it's time to make a schedule and track your progress. These are essential for success in your walking program.

How Often to Walk

  • You should walk a minimum of 3-4 times per week (every other day).
  • For weight loss, you should walk most days of the week, at least five days per week.
  • Walking at least every other day is best. That won't always be possible, but try not to skip more than two days in a row.
  • If you a training for speed or distance, your faster/longer days should be alternated with easy/slow days and you can walk 6 days a week with one day of non-walking.

When to Walk

You must find the time of day that best suits your schedule and lifestyle. There are advantages to each time of the day, but it is very personal as to which is best for you to do consistently.

  • Many people find walking first thing in the morning to be best - they don't procrastinate or get too busy and just skip it as they do later in the day.
  • Others incorporate a walking workout into their work day by walking at breaks or lunches or right after work.
  • Still others walk in the afternoon or evening and clear their mind after a hard day at work or at home.
  • More: What is the best time of day to walk?

Walking Partners

  • One of the best ways to make and keep a schedule is to do it with a walking partner. One of the best motivators to get out the door is to have somebody waiting for you.
  • Don't limit yourself to humans - dogs are some of the best and most motivating partners.
  • Human walking partners can be found through walking clubs or weightloss groups.

Walk Training Schedules:

  • 30-Day Quick Start Guide to Walking: This plan will get you moving with walking assignments for 30 days.
  • Weight Loss Walking Schedule: Use this schedule to walk consistently to burn calories for weight loss.
  • Treadmill Weight Loss Walking Plan: This schedule will help you burn off calories on the treadmill, varying your workout each day of the week.
  • Weekly Workouts: If you are already walking for fitness, this schedule will improve your speed and aerobic condition.
  • 5K Walk Training Plan: Use this schedule to train for a 3.1 mile walk, a common distance for charity walks and fun runs.
  • 10K Walk Training Plan: The 6.2 mile distance is often offered for runs and is a common distance for volkssport walks.
  • Half Marathon Walk Training Plan: The 13.1 mile/21 kilometer half marathon is a very popular distance for walkers, runners and run/walkers. This schedule will build your mileage over the course of 16 weeks.
  • Marathon Training Schedule: A marathon is 26.2 miles/42 kilometers long. This schedule will build your base mileage and then extend your mileage over 19 weeks before your marathon walk.

Next: Rewarding Your Progress

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