A Step in the Right Direction: Walking Program

Hello!  For this blog, I wanted to write something that would be beneficial to anyone interested in starting a physical activity.  This blog is about walking, an easy way to be more physically active.  Walking doesn’t require anything more than you and good pair of shoes!  Walking is an activity you can perform year round: outside (i.e. parks, zoos, walking trails) when the weather is nice and inside (i.e. at the mall, indoor track, museum) when it is cold.

Walking is an activity the entire family can do together.  If you have little ones, put them in the strollers and get rolling; for older children, let them ride their bikes ahead of you while you walk.  Walking has many benefits including:

  • more energy and stamina
  • lifting your mood
  • tones muscles and strengthens bones
  • burning calories
  • helping lower your risk of health problems

To begin your walking program you will need to schedule some time in your day, choose a safe place to walk, wear proper shoes and clothes, divide your walk into three parts (warm-up, walk and cool-down), stretch before and after, and try to walk at least 3 days per week if you cannot walk daily.  Try adding a few minutes to your walk each week to increase your time.

A Sample Daily Walking Program is below.  Feel free to increase your session times or decrease them based on your ability.

Warm-up Time (walk slowly & stretch)        Brisk-walk time        Cool-down         Total Time

Weeks 1-2

5 min                                           5 min                         5 min                  15 min

Weeks 3-4

5 min                                         10 min                          5 min                   20 min

Weeks 5-6

5 min                                         15 min                          5 min                   25 min

Weeks 7-8

5 min                                         20 min                          5 min                 30 min

Weeks 9-10

5 min                                         25 min                           5 min                35 min

Weeks 11-12

5 min                                         30 min                          5 min                40 min

Weeks 13-14

5 min                                          35 min                          5 min                45 min

Weeks 15-16

5 min                                         40 min                          5 min                50 min

Weeks 17-18

5 min                                         45 min                           5 min                55 min

Weeks 19-20

5 min                                         50 min                           5 min               60 min

Below are examples of some stretches to start with before you begin walking.  Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Calf/gastroc stretch: keep back leg straight and feel stretch through calfcalf-gastroc-stretch

Calf/soleus stretch: bend back knee and keep heel on ground and feel stretch through lower calf down toward your heelcalf-soleus stretch





Hamstring/Posterior Thigh Stretch: hamstring_stretch-seated





Quadricep/Anterior Thigh Stretch (Modified & Advanced):

modified quad stretchstanding quad stretch









I encourage you to start your walking program today and see how you can progress from week to week.  Go at a pace that is right for you and start taking steps to a happy, healthier you!  Take care!


Disclaimer: All exercises and other forms of physical activity can be dangerous, especially if performed without medical advice, proper supervision and/or pre-exercise evaluation. The videos, techniques, ideas, and exercise suggestions presented on  this website are not intended to be professional training advice.  Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any exercise, especially if you have any chronic or recurring condition, and/or if you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly.  All exercises you perform at your own responsibility and at your own risk.