Easy does it! A walking exercise plan to lose weight.

walking for fitness

I get asked a lot how I got started down my path to living a healthy life, and how I got myself motivated to actually make the change in my lifestyle. Most people make a life change to live healthy after a catastrophic event such as a heart attack or getting emphysema, but fortunately I never experienced this.

I can’t honestly narrow it down to one major thing that caused me to make healthier choices, because to me it was a combination of things like feeling tired all of the time, not being able to catch my breath after a game of basketball with my friends, and just generally feeling lousy. I literally just decided one day that enough was enough and set out to change my life to become healthier.

It was hard getting started and staying motivated as I admittedly am a little lazy when it comes to exercise and fitness, but I found a way to make it easier on myself and it has worked great.

I use the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method when it comes to my daily routine, and it has worked wonders!

I talk more about other items such as diet and what I eat in other posts here, but I wanted to focus this post on how I started my fitness routine. My work out plan has evolved, but in the beginning I started by doing one thing that was easy for me and that I could commit to every single day, walking.

I found that it was easy to convince myself that this was a way I could get started being more active and not have to exert a lot of energy right off the bat. It worked for me, and I think it could work for you too! Ok, enough of this rambling, I will now share with you a walking exercise plan to lose weight.

Why you should do this

By now everyone should know that exercise lives to a longer and healthier life, and it is equally well known that walking is one of the easiest and most beneficial physical activities you can do. I think the American Heart Association summed it up nicely in this brief list.

The benefits don’t end here as studies have shown that people who begin a daily walking routine and stick with it regularly increase activity levels and take up more intense forms of exercise. Go ahead, get started, and walk your way to a healthier life!

Before you walk

Any form of exercise will only be as beneficial as what you put into it, and walking is no exception.

Make sure that you have the right gear so that you find it easy and comfortable to enjoy your daily walk. It will be a lot easier to keep up with your routine if you aren’t dealing with aching feet or chafed and itchy skin due to poor shoes or improper shorts or jogging pants.

You should also take this time to set some goals for yourself. The goals should be realistic and short term so that you can actually achieve them before setting the next round of goals.

Shoes should fit comfortably. Make sure that they aren’t too loose or too tight as either of these will create rubbing and blisters on your heel or ankles. You should also make sure that the sole isn’t too stiff and that the cloth of the shoe is breathable. I am not telling you to go out and spend $200 on a pair of shoes right off the bat (unless you want to). There are perfectly acceptable shoes that you can pick up at Walmart for under $50.

The same goes for your clothing. Make sure that you aren’t wearing any clothing that doesn’t fit you correctly and this goes for outer wear and under wear.

Your clothing protects your skin while you are outside, and it is important to shield you from both the elements and friction of your skin between other parts of your body.

Can you ever remember a time when you have been swimming or got sweaty during a game of golf or basketball and got home later that evening to find that your legs were rubbed raw due to the moisture and friction of your body? This is what I am talking about here. Make sure that you pick out clothing that fits snuggly but not too tight.

walking exercise plan to lose weight - set a goalSetting goals and formalizing your routine is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of your walking plan.

I promise you now that if you skip this part and just go out and start walking you will have a drastically higher chance of quitting than someone who actually writes down their goal.

It has been proven time and time again that the human race is a goal oriented species, and exercise goals are no exception to this rule. Take the time and write out your goals, you will thank me for it!

Your goals should be short term and realistic so that you can easily reach them. I recommend something like a 30 day goal of walking every other day for starters.

Once you set AND REACH this goal take note of the confidence boost you get. It will be that much easier to increase your goals every time you reach a milestone.

Setting frequency of days walked in a set period is by far the easiest method of goal setting, but if you are interested in setting goals based on distance or calories burned you might want to check out my review of the fitbit flex. It’s what I use, and I absolutely love it!

The last thing you need to do before you begin your plan is determine your route. If you are on a treadmill or walking on a track this part is pretty simple, but if you will be running out in the real world you want to make sure that you know where you will be going. It is really easy to walk anywhere, but you want to pay special attention to intersections or areas of heavy traffic. Be safe out there!

The routine

This is where we get into the actual walking plan.

Everyone is different and have different fitness levels so feel free to adjust to whatever is the most beneficial to you.

I will be providing the plan in a simple list format, and I want to make a special note here. Stretching, warm up, and cool down are very important. Please do your muscles a favor and do this every time you walk!

In the beginning I would shoot for 30 minutes of activity every day or every other day with 20 minutes being actual walking and the other 10 being devoted to stretching, warm up and cool down as I illustrated below.

1. Stretch (2 minutes) – during this time you want to spend some time stretching out your muscles so that you don’t strain them. You can do this by simply standing up straight with a slight bend of the knee and leaning down to try to touch your toes. Don’t force it and hold the position for a count of 30. Next stay standing and spread your feet shoulder width apart and stretch to try to touch your right toes and hold for a count of 30. Do the same for your left toes for a count of 30, and then back to the original position for a count of 30.

2. Warm up (3 minutes) – begin your walk, but walk at a slow and steady pace. During the warm up you are just letting the oxygen and blood start to flow to your muscles and get used to the exercise.

3. Walking (20 minutes) – you are now fully into your walking plan. While you are walking maintain a quicker pace than the warm up and make sure that you are swinging your arms in a constant, deliberate motion. Think mall walking here!

4. Cool down (3 minutes) – you have now finished walking, but you want to give your muscles time to settle from the brisk exercise. You should walk at the same slow and steady pace you used during your warm up.

5. Stretch (2 minutes) – perform the same set of stretches that you did before your walk.

Walk to a new you

There you have it. A plain and simple walking exercise plan to lose weight that you can do easily no matter where you live or what type of equipment you have available to you.

Remember, they key to fitness is setting a goal, developing a routine, and then following your plan. Nothing will happen overnight, and all exercise is something that has to be done repeatedly in order for you to benefit from it.

In order to stay motivated you should change the route that you walk occasionally to get different scenery, and not just give up and scrap your whole plan if you miss a day or two. Everyone will miss the opportunity to exercise occasionally, but those are successful never give up!

If you are having trouble getting motivated to go on your run, just remember the way it makes you feel afterwards!

I would love to hear feedback or questions from you! Please leave a comment below.

Happy running and cheers to your health!
Allan

16 Comments

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  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  3. Hi Allan
    I have been reading your website, especially the part about walking. I am overweight and have been thinking about starting back walking again. I am now inspired by your words and will commence my daily walking routine. You are right when you say it takes away stress and does make you feel good about yourself. I used to walk regularly and loved it. Best part is when you think, no I won’t go today, then you change your mind and end up going. Makes you feel even more proud of yourself, which leads to having a great day!!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Donna

    • Hi Donna, and thank you for visiting the site!

      Thank you for leaving a comment! I am always happy to hear from readers who find value in my posts, and to hear that you have found inspiration here literally makes my day!

      I agree with your statement 100%. There are times when all of us can find excuses not to exercise, and it truly is a great feeling when you stick with your plan, make time for yourself, and follow your commitment to your exercise routine. For me, small victories like this are what keep me motivated to push forward!

      I wish you great fortune in resuming your walking plan, and I will be here if you have questions or more feedback!

  4. Hi Allan, I started walking 2 years ago, I was chronically out of shape and borderline diabetic. I then started low carbing and within a few months I had lost 24 lbs.

    I then integrated running into my regime on alternate days. I’m pleased to say that I have now lost 80 lbs and gone from a 42″ waist, to a 32″ waist.

    I’ve not felt as fit and healthy for many years and I still maintain my walking/running and have no intention in stopping.

    Good article and advice, I enjoyed reading it 🙂

    Jay

    • Thanks for the comment Jay and congratulations on your healthy lifestyle! I always enjoy hearing success stories. I wish you success for many years to come!

  5. Talking a walk is not only healthy physically, but it takes you away from the stress of life and brings you to a more peaceful state where you can enjoy the outdoors and spend time to think about things.

    I, personally, go out on a bike instead of a walk, however. What’s your opinion on that?

    • I agree completely! I use my exercise time as a time where I can forget about the day’s stress, project planning, or any other of a million things going on inside my brain every day. Be it walking, running, or cycling, there is nothing better than scheduling some time for yourself to let everything go and just focus on your self.

      I love to cycle, and I do it regularly! I posted on walking as it is something easy that anyone can do without special equipment, but if you own a bike then by all means get out there and enjoy yourself! There have been many studies that show the positive benefits to changing up your cardio exercise routine throughout the month. The best part about cardio vascular work outs is that there doesn’t have to be a set schedule or exercise.

  6. Grat post Allan. I am living example that this is working. I lost 35 kg just trough 30 minutes of walking every evening. Except I lose weight I am also much calmer and stable. This days way of life is a road to disaster. Junk food, cars, sitting all day… But with this exercise you can help yourself. Think about it. Each of us can find half hour to hour in a day to help yourself. Great job. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the response Igor! I am very happy to hear about your progress! You are absolutely correct about it being easy to find at least 30 minutes a day to devote to your health. The only things that can hold each and every one of us back are the decision and motivation to do something! Congratulations on your progress, and I look forward to hearing more from you!

  7. Hi Allan,
    Nice article on using walking as great exercise to keep you fit. I love walking because it’s such a simple form of exercise and can be done just about anywhere. I am lucky enough to live near the countryside so I don’t have far to go to get away from it all and breath in the fresh air. I like your points about warm up and cool down before and after the walk. I wear orthotics in my shoes as I suffer from plantar fasciitis so it is important for me to stretch those tendons before exercise, even more so if I go for a run rather than walk. But that brings me back to why I like walking because it is easier on me than running. Thanks for sharing
    Neil

    • HI Neil,

      Thanks for the comment. It is always good to hear from someone who has a fitness plan already working for them! I must admit, I am a little jealous of your country side view while walking! I live in the city, and while there are great parks or running trails, nothing beats the fresh country air or scenery of walking along a country road.

      It is good to hear that you have found a way to get exercise even with your “jogger’s heel”. I know that a condition like that can make it very hard to motivate yourself to get out and walk. Kudos to you for pushing through and finding a low impact routine for getting in your exercise!

  8. Allan,
    The idea of having to develop a plan for exercise after a long working career on my feet is hard. This easy does it walking exercise plan may work for me even though I do not have to lose weight. I have not been walking as much as I did when working. Me and my son have been hiking in the rocky areas around the house and went to Colorado hiking. This cannot be a routine as the mountains are not in the back yard. My dad is 88 and still maintains his own house because he has a walking plan for everyday.
    John

    • John,

      Thank you for stopping by the site and leaving a comment. I am very glad to hear that your dad, at 88, still maintains his independence and well being through living a healthy life. This is truly amazing!

      It can be hard to develop a routine for fitness later in life, especially if you have lived a very active life do to your career. I am glad you are thinking of starting an exercise routine, as it is very important to over all health. Walking, running, or cycling are just a few of the many different forms of exercise that improve cardio vascular fitness, which is to say that it improves the health of your heart and lungs. It is vital to the human body that these organs remain in good health. You are well on your way to continuing a happy, healthy lifestyle by remaining active! Thanks again.

  9. Hi Allan,

    I don’t like running, and I guess that, I always thought that running was the only exercise available to get in shape and stay healthy. I never thought of walking as a suitable exercise!

    When do you recommend is the best time for walking? Early in morning or in late afternoon?

    And should you avoid doing exercises just before meals? Is it better to exercise once you have eaten?

    Thanks
    Sonia

    • Hi Sonia, thanks for stopping by.

      Walking is definitely a good alternative to running, and it will definitely help with cardiovascular fitness. Many people choose walking due to injury, strength, or capability issues as it is a form of low impact exercise that can promote the health of your heart and lungs.

      Honestly, the best time for you to walk is any time that fits your schedule. Most prefer to walk in the morning or evening because it is a more comfortable temperature, but if you live in a part of the world where it is cold, then you may choose to walk during a time when the sun is out and shining. Most doctors advise that you should eat before performing exercise, and that you should wait until your body gets a chance to digest your food before you do so. This is because strenuous exercise while your body is breaking down food can lead to muscle cramps. Walking is not considered strenuous exercise so you should be fine walking whenever you choose regardless of your eating routine, but you should be the judge of this. If you find that you are getting a cramped muscle feeling while walking after a meal, then you can just wait 30 minutes to begin your walk after eating.

      Thanks for the great questions Sonia!

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