Walking is one of the best ways to improve health, get in shape, lose weight, keep weight off, and stay in shape. For example, 94% of people in the National Weight Control Registry, which has one of the largest databases regarding individual weight loss, increased physical activity to achieve weight loss and most of these people chose walking to get active. [http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm] Walking works!

Research also shows us that to get the best results from exercise programs, we need to mix it up. A fun and easy way to add variety and increase the intensity of your walking routines is to introduce intervals.I’ve designed the following program, which is one of three interval workouts in The Walking Deck: 50 Ways to Walk Yourself Healthy. This routine takes approximately 35 minutes.

  • Warm up by strolling [less than 3 miles per hour or 100 steps per minute] for 5 minutes.
  • Increase intensity, by walking at a health walk pace [3 to 3.5 miles per hour or 105-120 steps per minute] for 5 minutes.
  • Increase intensity to a fitness walk [4 to 4.5 miles per hour or 140-160 steps per minute] pace for 1 minute.
  • Reduce intensity to a health walk pace for a 5 minute interval.
  • Repeat 1 minute fitness walk pace.
  • Reduce intensity to a health walk pace for a 5 minute interval.
  • Repeat 1 minute fitness walk pace.
  • Cool down with a 5 minute stroll.
  • End with standing calf stretch, standing shin stretch, standing hip flexor, quad, and hamstring stretch, standing side stretch, standing triceps and upper back stretch, and standing cat stretch. If 1 minute is too long for your higher intensity intervals, start out by working harder for 30 seconds and recovering for 90 seconds. With this workout, you’re on your way to a fitter you. Try it and let me know how it goes.