This plan, developed by the experts at Runner's World, will help you get in the habit of regular exercise and will lay the foundation so you can become a runner. With this seven-week plan, you can build up to and beyond 150 minutes per week of exercise - the amount that experts recommend to prevent illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Each week includes four workouts with an option to do a fifth workout. The plan starts with a 15-minute walk and builds gradually, so that by the end of the program you will be able to walk for 60 minutes without stopping.
Welcome to the Runner's World Start Walking Plan. This seven-week plan is designed for people who want to get into the habit of regular exercise. The plan builds gradually so that you'll develop the endurance to walk 60 minutes nonstop and to get at least 150 minutes per week of regular exercise, the amount needed to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and many other chronic diseases. Each week features four short walks with an option for a fifth, and a longer walk each weekend to build endurance. If you're over 40, or have a family history of heart disease or other health problems, see a doctor before you start a regular exercise program. Today you'll walk for 15 minutes. This should be a brisk walk--not a race walk, and not a window-shopping walk. You should be walking at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. Don't worry about the distance or your pace, just focus on getting out and completing the 15-minute walk feeling good.
This week, scout out a few flat, scenic, traffic-free routes that you can regularly take in a variety of weather conditions. You should always walk against the flow of traffic, and assume that drivers cannot see you. Tracks are great options because they are flat, free of motorists, and the distance is measured. Many schools open their tracks to the public when they are not in use.
Today you have a choice: You can rest or take a 15-minute walk. In these first few weeks, it's probably best to start with four workouts per week and see how your body responds. If you're feeling sore or extra fatigued, continue to rest. If you feel healthy and energized, make Wednesday a short workout day.
In these first few weeks, establish a workout routine that blends well into the rhythm of your daily life. Figure out what times of day are most convenient for your walk, and find a variety of safe, traffic-free routes that you can take on a regular basis.
Today is your first long, slow distance (LSD) workout. Since you'll be walking for longer, you can start out slower than you usually do. On these days, your goal is to just complete the workout. The important factor in these workouts is how you feel. They should feel smooth and comfortable, as if you could go forever.
Welcome to week two of the Runner's World Start Walking plan. This week will be similar to last week, with four days of workouts, plus an optional fifth day with a 15-minute walk. Three of your walks will get just slightly longer, with three minutes longer than last week. At the end of the week, you will have 124 minutes under your belt. That's 239 minutes total! As your exercise routine gets under way, invest in shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, and socks that are made of technical, lightweight fabrics that wick away moisture, so you'll stay cool in the summer, and dry and warm when it's cold outside. These fabrics, such as Dri-FIT and Coolmax, help prevent blisters and chafing.
A well-kept training log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take notes on how you feel during the workout, how long you went, where you went, and what the weather was like. Seeing all the workouts add up can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. And if you keep track of aches and pains, you can nip them in the bud before they become full-blown injuries.