Get walking with this 12-week walking scheduleBy Mayo Clinic staff
Are you looking to ease into getting in shape? This 12-week walking schedule from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute can start you on the path to better health. But before starting this walking plan, talk with your doctor if you've been sedentary for a long time or you have serious health issues.
Try to walk at least five times each week. Always start with a five-minute, slower paced walk to warm up and end with a five-minute, slower paced walk to cool down.
Start at a pace that's comfortable for you. Then gradually pick up speed until you're walking briskly — the equivalent of 3.5 miles an hour. You should be breathing hard, but still able to carry on a conversation. Each week, add two minutes to your walking time.
As you become more fit, you'll want to add strength training exercises, such as pushups and lunges, to your routine to meet the physical activity level recommended for healthy adults:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity — or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — a week
- Strength training exercises at least twice a week
|1||5 minutes||5 minutes||5 minutes|
|2||5 minutes||7 minutes||5 minutes|
|3||5 minutes||9 minutes||5 minutes|
|4||5 minutes||11 minutes||5 minutes|
|5||5 minutes||13 minutes||5 minutes|
|6||5 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
|7||5 minutes||18 minutes||5 minutes|
|8||5 minutes||20 minutes||5 minutes|
|9||5 minutes||23 minutes||5 minutes|
|10||5 minutes||26 minutes||5 minutes|
|11||5 minutes||28 minutes||5 minutes|
|12||5 minutes||30 minutes||5 minutes|
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013
- Your guide to physical activity and your heart. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/phy_active_atglance.htm. Accessed Jan. 9, 2013.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/PAGUIDELINES/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 9, 2013.
- What is physical activity? U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity/what.html. Accessed Jan. 9, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2013.
- Peterson D (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 11, 2013.