If you’ve decided you want to improve your fitness, walking is a good choice. It’s free, simple, and adaptable to your schedule. If you’ve been relatively sedentary, you might find that you can’t walk very far at first without getting sore or out-of-breath. You just have to keep at it! If you try to walk a little further every day, you’ll find that your walking stamina gradually improves. If you don’t have the patience for that, there are a few other tricks you can try to help you reach your goals faster.
Walk for at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week. Going for regular walks improves your cardiovascular fitness gradually, but don’t sweat it if you can’t walk this long initially. Over time, your body will get used to a certain level of activity, and that makes it easier for you to walk longer.
If the outdoors aren’t available to you this often or if the weather is unsuitable, use a treadmill or stationary bike inside instead.
Go on a longer walk at least one day a week. Plan a longer walk for at least one of your sessions so you can gradually push your endurance. When you first start, the distance will likely be relatively short. However, as you progress, the distance will grow (as will the time commitment).
For example, when you first start out, you may only be able to walk 2 miles (3.2 km) without getting tired. That would be your long walk. Each week, increase your long walk by 0.5 mi (0.80 km).
Don’t worry about where you start — just focus on improving a little each week
Walk at a brisk pace of about 3 miles (4.8 km) per hour. This pace is faster than a stroll, but likely not the fastest you can walk. If you download a step app for your smartphone or smartwatch, it will help you keep pace.
Listening to music while you walk can help you keep the pace. There are some smartphone apps, such as PaceDJ and RockMyRun, that will help you plan your playlist to include songs with the correct number of beats per minute to keep you on pace.