Walking is one of the easiest ways to get the exercise you need to
Experts recommend at least 2½ hours of
moderate activity (such as brisk walking, brisk
cycling, or yard work) a week.1 It's fine to walk in
blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
- If you're worried about how brisk walking might affect your health, talk with your doctor before you start a walking program.
- Start with
a short-term goal. For example, walk for 5 or 10 minutes every day. Or increase
your number of steps by 300 to 500 each day.
- After you've made
walking a habit, set a longer-term goal. You may want to set a goal of walking
briskly for at least 30 minutes a day or work up to 10,000 steps a day. You can
try to do this 5 days a week or more.
- You can wear a pedometer to
track your steps each day.
- To stay motivated, find a walking
partner, such as a family member, friend, or coworker. Daily dog walks are also
a great way to keep up your walking routine.
How can you make a walking program part of your life?
Think of walking as an easy way to burn calories and stay fit while you
go about your daily routine. You can make walking an important part of your
life by getting friends and family to join you and by finding new ways to put
steps in your day.
Walk with others
- Ask family members, friends, and coworkers
to join you. Set goals together.
- Join a walking group or
- Set a goal to take part in an organized fitness
- Walk a dog every day.
- Plan family outings around
walks together. Being physically active with kids sets an example they'll
follow as they grow older.
Add steps whenever you can
- Schedule walks on your daily
- Buy a pedometer at a sporting goods store. A pedometer
counts how many steps you take. The first time you wear it, count how many
steps you normally take in a day. Wear your pedometer every day, and set a goal
for increasing the number of steps each day. At first, try to add 300 to 500
steps to your day. Then work toward 2,000 more steps a day. A good long-term
goal is to get 10,000 steps a day.
- Fitness: Using a Pedometer or Step Counter
- Instead of watching TV or going out to eat,
go out for a walk.
- At work, get up and move around once an hour.
- When possible, walk to the grocery store, doctor appointments,
work, school, or shopping. You could walk a lap around the grocery store before
you start shopping.
- Park your car farther away from work or other
places you're going.
- Walk around your neighborhood or around a
- Walk during TV commercials.
- Know your surroundings. Walk in a
well-lighted, safe place.
- Carry a cell phone for
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks that cushion and support your
- Pay attention to your walking surface. Use sidewalks and
- If you usually walk outside and the weather is bad, take
comfortable shoes to the mall and walk several laps inside.
plenty of water before, during, and after you are
active. This is very important when it's hot out and when you do intense
exercise. Take a water bottle with you when you walk.
Return to Fitness: Walking for Wellness
- Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
- Healthy Aging
- Weight Management
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008).
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP
Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
|By: ||Healthwise Staff ||Current as of: March 12, 2014|
|Medical Review: ||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
Heather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science