When it comes to fitness, walking is the most simple, free and easiest way of exercise. This is ideal for all ages who wants to be fit. No fancy and expensive equipment required. You can also do this anytime, anywhere. And let’s face it – it’s a lot easier to talk yourself into taking a walk than it might be to head to the gym, right?
As you first start your walking for fitness program, it’s important to simply start walking. How far, how fast, and how long – doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that you’re creating a habit of walking every day. However, that isn’t going to last forever. At some point you’re going to want to take it up a notch. Let’s talk about different goals and how to reach them.
- 10,000 steps a day – This equates to about five miles each day and it will take about ten minutes to walk 1000 steps. This means that you’ll need to walk about an hour and a half each day. You can increase your pace, and shorten the time it takes you to walk your 10,000 steps.
- More steps in less time – The faster you walk, the higher your heart rate. As your heart rate increases, you burn more calories. So your goal can transition from 10,000 steps a day in 100 minutes to perhaps 10,000 steps in 70-80 minutes. Try to reduce your time by a minute each week.
- Increased heart rate for weight loss – Another approach is to simply try to make sure your heart rate is at a fat-burning pace for 30 minutes a day. A fat-burning pace is about 60-70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You’ll need to wear a heart rate monitor for this approach. One way to estimate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For example if you’re 40 then your maximum heart rate would be 180. 65 percent of 180 is 117. So you’d want to keep your heart rate around 117 for 30 minutes to burn fat.
How long, how far and how fast you walk depends on your goals. You might try to get all of your fitness walking accomplished in one outing or you might break it up into a few shorter walks. Gradually increase your time, distance, and pace as you get more comfortable with walking and your fitness improves.
Walking is great for your mental, physical and emotional health. It’s as natural as eating or sleeping, easy to do, fun to do and it takes very little effort to get started.