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Choosing a Walking Exercise Program

Beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Below you will find some sample exercise programs.

See a doctor before beginning any exercise program. Have a physical examination and have the doctor recommend one of the below exercise programs or another version for you.

If you doctor does not make a recommendation, make a self-assessment of your physical condition and choose a program yourself.

Once you have begun the program, reassess your choice. If you feel like you are overexerting yourself, slow down. If you are not feeling the effect from your walk, try a faster pace.

10,000 Step-A-Day Program

This is a great and easy program to get you started on your lifetime walking habit. The 10K-A-DAY program is to walk 10,000 steps a day (which exceeds the Surgeon General physical fitness recommendations of 30 minutes of exercise one most days of the week). When you accomplish this, you will be burning more calories and you will be walking your way to a healthier life.

Your pedometer will count every step you take during the day. It will add new motivation to your exercise program and will keep you focused on your goal of 10,000 steps a day.

You may find, however, that your step counts vary day to day due to your activities. A suggestion is that you monitor your weekly, not daily, totals. Going for 70,000 steps per week, rather than 10,000 steps per day can help ward off those feelings of failure.

If you are trying to lose weight, you might even try to walk 12,000 steps per day, while maintaining a reasonable diet and drinking lots of water.

To get started on your 10K-A-DAY program, put on your step pedometer in the morning and start walking. Keep track of your daily steps on a note pad, a calendar, or in a walking journal. After three days calculate the average number of the steps you have taken for the three days. This is your start point.

Walking Silhouette Here is a guideline to see how you will walk your way to 10K-A-DAY and beyond:

  1. Start Point: Less than 2500 steps
  2. Your Goal: 5,000 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 250 steps a day
  4. Time Needed: 10 to 20 days
  1. Start Point: 2501 to 5000 steps
  2. Your Goal: 7,500 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: increase 300 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 8 to 16 days
  1. Start Point: 5001 to 7500 steps
  2. Your Goal: 10,000 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 400 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 6 to 12 days
  1. Start Point: 7501 to 10,000 steps
  2. Your Goal: 12,500 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 500 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 5 to 10 days
  1. Start Point: 10,001 to 12,500 steps
  2. Your Goal: 15,000 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 500 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 5 to 10 days
  1. Start Point: 12,501 to 15,000 steps
  2. Your Goal: 17,500 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 750 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 3 to 6 days
  1. Start Point: 15,001 to 17,500 steps
  2. Your Goal: 20,000 steps per day
  3. How to Reach Goal: Increase 750 steps per day
  4. Time Needed: 3 to 6 days

But, How Far Have I Walked?

You may wonder how far you have walked, having taken so many steps. One way to determine the distance you have traveled is to own a distance pedometer. (There are pedometers that can tell you steps, distance, calories burned, time spent exercising, heart rate, etc.).

Beginner Program

If you are fairly inactive, overweight or recovering from an illness, your doctor may recommend you start with the following beginner program:

Beginner's Walking Program

Intermediate Program
If your doctor informs you that you are physically fit and you already take part in a regular exercise routine, the following intermediate program may be recommended for you.

Intermediate Walking Program

Advanced Program
If you are in excellent physical shape, and have a regular walking routine, the advanced program may be recommended for you.

Advanced Walking Program

Note: If you are unsure of which program to start with, it is better to begin slow and not overdo it.

Remember ... Walking is:

  • An Activity You Do Every Day
  • The Number One Activity Everywhere!





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