The 7-Day Walking Plan

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The 7-Day Walking Plan

With the mercury rising, it’s easy to make excuses and miss a workout, which is where a 7-day walking pledge comes in handy. The next seven days will set you on a path to consistent, enjoyable and beneficial walking. Enjoy!

GETTING STARTED

Plan to walk during the time of day when you know you can be consistent — maybe before or after work or on your lunch break. Look at your calendar for the next seven days, then schedule your walks like you would a meeting.

We are asking you to slowly build from 30 minutes a day on Day 1 to an hour on Day 7. It’s great to start on a Monday, but any day you want to start is the right day.

Related

  • Christin

    Good plan indeed!!!!!!
    Another way?
    Get a dog, or a cat (they can be leash broken too), & get them in the habit of walking EVERYDAY. Pretty soon, you won’t get a break. You will HAVE TO WALK EVERYDAY.
    I’ve been up for 12 hours, from waking for work, the drive, walking and lifting at work, then the drive home AND running errands if there are any. Get home, sit down, two dogs and a cat are screaming at me to go outside. And the ONLY WAY to get them to stop, is to go for a walk.
    And it doesn’t matter the weather. I’ve had to go for walks in the pouring rain, freezing weather and snow.
    I actually have “gear” just for dog walks for different types of weather.
    The cat won’t walk on freezing ground, but she still wants outside, so I have to stuff her in my jacket with her head sticking out and carry her that way.
    So if you need any motivation to get up and out, get a dog or a cat, they’ll make sure you get your butt out the door every single day.

    • I have a friend who works at shelters, and suggests ‘fostering’ an animal to see how this works for you, especially if you’re not used to having a dog in your life. Walking the dog is a great way to get in your walking time, so take one home and see how great it is!

      • Laura Colby

        Fostering is a GREAT Idea! I walked every day, twice a day, when I had a dog who loved to be walked. I lost a lot of weight (and kept it off) and she lived to be 14 years old despite a host of age-related problems. Dogs are great walking partners and also won’t let you out of a day’s workout 🙂

      • Pat Kinsch

        Great idea. Or, you can just walk the shelter dogs. They’d love it!!

    • ren_man

      walking with a dog works only if the dog is out to walk and not also:
      water the grass
      fertilize the grass
      walk like a drunken sailor seeking another sniff of this….no, that….wait, over there-That!…..ooooo and that too…..and…….

      • Sue Denny

        My Lhasa was a great walking partner because she’d been taught that we’re here to walk…..you can sniff (and all other dog functions) in your very own kingdom with a fence when we get back. Even with her little short legs (and my long legs) we kept a great pace for the first 2.5 miles….the last half mile she became my weight training as I had to carry her. It was such great fun.

        • djah2

          I have a Coton del Tulear, same thing, he has short legs and a big heart. I usually take a doggie stroller so I can walk at my pace and he can rest when he gets too tired.

      • Christiann Khuri Erkel

        That’s is soo funny and true!!! I thought of my dog immediately!

    • sandy

      I tell people that all the time I have 3 dogs I say go adopt a dog and you have to walk

    • someya g

      I like the cat idea. I’ve never seen a cat out for a walk on a leash (or I don’t remember seeing one) good Idea. My kids love cats.

      • Armida Marrufo

        My son and his GF have 2 cats that don’t mind the leash because they get to play on the park grass and where a start for me after I had both my knees replaced. They didn’t pull at the leash, well they’re small animals and almost weightless so it was good for me.

      • _beaverhausen

        Check out @lilothehuskie on instagram… Rosie the cat is the cutest and loves her adventures

  • AlnMaria Neubauer

    Definitely going to do this. I needed a kick in the butt and this is it.

    • Norma Young

      Me too. I’m becoming so lazy!

  • clyde

    I’m doing this!

  • Jo

    I’m in! Starting today

  • Hey, everyone! Just stopping in to say hello.

    It’s nice to see all the comments, and I’m pleased to hear from so many people who are starting their own walking challenge!

    Roland

  • JW

    My husband travels for work, and We work opposite shifts. Evening walks are a perfect way for us to get in a little chat time, with no phones or tv, while also getting in steps!

    • This is great! Galina and I walk to the store to buy our food almost every night, and it’s a great way to stay in touch. 😉

      • Harvey Bumfelder

        How about a walking plan for a 70 year old that is way out of shape but otherwise healthy?

        • Jay Man

          Harvey, here is the plan: Step 1) Stop typing & Step 2) Start walking

          • Harvey Bumfelder

            Hey thanks. I’d have never thought of that on my own. I assume you are less than 70 or have a wish to make things worse. The older you get the more you have to ease into things or prepared for the adding to your health problems instead of lessening them. If you are 70 or older I encourage you to run marathons, take up ski diving and solo hike the Appalachian Trail….

          • Jay Man

            Ok

        • Harvey, just take it as slow as you need, even if it’s 2-3 weeks to get into it.

          Several people in other comments suggested mall walking, because there are seats all over the place, so you can walk, talk, and sit at your own pace.

  • terry leffler

    I’m a short haul tractor trailer driver, my route takes me from Carrollton ga to piedmont Sc where I unload and reload back which gives me time to walk at night while I’m Unloading and reloading I usually walk 1 hr to 1.5 hrs depending on my time I have i walk 3 miles a night 5 days a week 15 miles a week and I use my tread mill at home I’m trying to loose weight I’m at 270 fully dressed yes I got complacent in life anyway my goal weight is 170 pnds but instead of flooring the weight I’m gaining it not the result I’m looking for !!!!!
    Does anybody have any ideas what I can do to my usual work out to loose the weight.
    Also I’ve joined the samsung health challenge last month it was the broccoli challenge 2169i9 steps in a month this month it’s the tomato challenge
    Thxs for the inputs to my delima

    • Sounds like you walk a lot already, so great job!

      Challenges are a great way to motivate yourself to eat better. How about a ‘pack your lunch’ challenge or a ‘cook my own food’ challenge? Eating out or eating prepackaged foods is one way that people can overeat even when they feel they are doing great.

      There’s a chapter in our latest book where challenge people to ‘eat in’ for a week to feel the differences. On average, a meal purchased at a restaurant or fast food place has 175 more calories than a similar one cooked at home. And that’s IF you eat the same thing out that you’d cook at home, which is unlikely.

      175 extra calories doesn’t sound like much, but that’s per meal, and they add up to many pounds of weight gained over a few weeks or months.

    • Leslie Esposito

      Try HMR Program

  • Pattie Tucker

    Sounds like a plan. I love walking but my town isn’t walker friendly. No sidewalks and very little free space on the streets. I’m going to try this in the shopping parking lot close to my house. Hoping it won’t be as boring as it sounds. Cheers.

    • It’s not super exciting, but mall or shopping center walking usually gets you out of traffic, at least.

    • Kiwidg1

      If you’re looking for other places to walk, try your local home center (Lowe’s, Target) or big box store (Target, Walmart). If you can find some off-hours when it’s not packed, you can get a lot of walking in going up and down the aisles.

      • Kiwidg1

        Sorry, I meant Lowes or Home Depot.

      • Great!

  • Sandra Bosiljevac

    Just read the 7 Day Walking Plan and I’m going to give it a try. I say try because I have chronic pain in both ankles and feet caused by gout and arthritis. I have been told that the bones in my left ankle are “disintegrating” and there is no way to fix it. Walking through a grocery store is a definite challenge but I need to lose weight and hope starting out with small increments of walking might help build tolerance. Your thoughts, please. Thank you. By the way, I need to add in my age, 78, but I just got a good report back from the doc as far as heart health, etc.

    • Wendy Harmening

      Try the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program, much easier and slower progression into walking than this is.

      • Great tip. We all come from different starting points. Thanks for helping out!

    • Sue Denny

      Because of my feet/ankle issues I found it easier to drive downtown, taking my dog, and walking in the skywalk (or a nice mall). The floor was carpeted and because Ms. Molly was so well mannered no one minded at all. So, you might look at walking someplace like that?

      • Armida Marrufo

        Malls were also perfect fit for me after knee surgery because I can find anywhere to sit if I got tired and plenty of people if I ever REALLY needed help.

        • Great tips. Malls give a lot of freedom and options for breaking up the walking!

    • Jennifer L Ellasces

      Try warm water therapy through the Easter Seals in your area. Best wishes for wellness ♡

      • My Mom worked for Easter Seals for 15 years as an occupational therapist. What a great organization!

    • someya g

      Hey,

    • MrLogical

      Try low-impact hydrotherapy – Good resistance from the water to help build strength/stamina but minimal impact stresses on feet, ankles and knees. Most Y’s have classes.

      • djah2

        That’s a great idea. The water gives the resistance and your body is more buoyant.

  • Nadine Jensen

    Progressing from 30 minutes on day one to an hour in hour week may work for a 20 to 30-something–but not for a 69-year-old!

    • You can break it up throughout the day to ease in. If worse comes to worse, take 2-3 weeks to increase. The most important thing is to start walking a little more over time. 🙂

      • Nadine Jensen

        Thanks for the suggestion. I actually began walking quite awhile ago, and am up to 10,000+ steps a day.

      • mitzi

        Does any one know how many calories this would be for 2 miles a day be?

        • Do you use the fitness tracking calorie app? It’s depends on your weight. A 200 lb person burns about 100 calories per mile, but at 120 it’s maybe 60 calories. Plug in your numbers and see how it comes out!

  • Jo

    I know I need to do this but don’t have the time or energy. I get up at 5am, have a 45 minute drive to be at work at 6am. I have a 1/2 hour lunch and rarely leave before 7:30 or 8:00 pm. Another 45 minute drive to get home between 8:30 and 9:00. I make my lunch for the next day and chat with my husband for a brief bit then get to bed around 10:00. I’m exhausted and can’t imagine adding a 1 hour walk into my day.

    • Dru Damien

      Sounds alot like my schedule, including the long drive. Glad I’m not alone.

    • Lynn Grace

      My day is similar, up at 4:30am home by 7pm, house work/kids then bed by 10pm to get at least 6.5 hrs of sleep. I use the stairs at work much as possible and walk frequently around the office from desk to copier to conference room to breakroom to desk. You get the idea. Then i get on the treadmill at home and walk for 20 min intervals between housework and kids stuff. Then there is always the weekends to catch up.

    • Do you have a fitbit or pedometer to know where you’re starting from?

      Maybe you and your husband could walk and talk together. Two birds, one stone.

  • Harvey Bumfelder

    How about a program for a man 70 years old?

    • Just take it as slow as you need, even if it’s 2-3 weeks to get into it.

      Several people in other comments suggested mall walking, because there are seats all over the place, so you can walk, talk, and sit at your own pace.

  • Kellie Whitehorn

    Amazing how people always find a problem with something! Everybody doesn’t like animals! Everybody isn’t 69 or 70! Hell SOME PEOPLE CANNOT WALK! Jesus chill out people! Learn to do what fits for you! Walk less time! It’s simple as that!

  • Bill from Branford

    For many sedentary people this plan is too aggressive. I would spread this out over 4 weeks. I always train before vacation particularly Disney vacations If you want to enjoy yourself you actually need to trains for all the walking you will do on many vacations. Build up slowly until you can do 3.1 miles…a 5k…with no problem. In Disney for example you could find yourself walking 5-9 miles a day. If you are not prepared for that you will be miserable.

  • NSA Drone

    I am transgender. Which plan should I follow. Mens or womens?

    • Armida Marrufo

      Is this a joke? Unnecessary

      • NSA Drone

        No. Why would you think that. I am offended. Can’t even ask an honest question.

  • Jill

    Plan sounds like a great idea, I have to figure out morning or evening after work. I have a great neighborhood where most of the neighborhood we see walkers. I have to lose this weight gain, I lost it once I can do it again….Good luck everyone who has decided to do the walking plan.

    • You can try some of each. Maybe find a friend for extra motivation!

  • Colonel

    Hello all,
    I just read the article then the comments some funny some serious, others well….
    Let me start by saying this 3+ years back I was the workaholic, HIGH BP, Overweight etc…. then one day I found my self in the office needing to lie down as the room was spinning, I was getting ill, stars, well you get it.
    When I finally got composed I went to a Med-Express, then my family doctor and he told me the same thing he has been telling me for years, loose weight and get your BP under control or you won’t be here to see the family through the rest of their life’s journey and hey start taking this water pill to help.
    Well I’m not sure if any of you have taken a water pill but let me say a 1/2 hour after taking it I needed to set down for 45 minutes to an hour as this put me out of commission for that time then I was ok for the remainder of the day. That was no to have my work day go and if I kept that up well again you get it.
    So I set upon a path to not need the water pill get off of the BP medication, and make sure I am here long-term to see the family.
    So at 49 and 60lbs overweight I set upon this goal, as per the article I started small a walk to the end of my street, then when that seemed to little, a bit further, then a bit further, then I started tracking with my smart phone my distance, one day my Wife says WOW you look like you lost weight and I did 10lbs, I know not a great number but HEY I LOST 10lbs, and better yet someone noticed(I already knew but never said a word as I thought the scale had it in for me), this made missing out on a bit of TV time, or going to bed a bit later and yes a bit more tired worth it. I am also tracking my meals with MyFitnessPal this makes the difference as well.
    Well on the BIG 50 I get a birthday card that says some people at 50 do and others do, and others do, one item was Run a Marathon, well 26.2 miles is a long way and the only way I’m going that distance is in my car. But my gift was a Garmin GPS watch with heart rate monitor middle of their line, with a note saying “We believe in you”, imagine that.
    So I add the software to the computer and phone so the watch can sync when I come back and I go out and walk with my new watch and a huge new pride, when I get back I have walked 5 miles no record breaking time but still full of pride, and my Son says if you can do 5 miles you can do a 5K lets sign up for one, keeping in mind he runs Cross-Country, plays Tennis and Ice-Hockey.
    So we did and I finished my first 5K walking, but like one of those 80’s Mom’s power-walking, you should have seen me in my leg warmers, my time was terrible and my Son was already done cooled down and ready to go again when I crossed that finish line but I crossed the finish line, and oh yes 15 lbs lighter than when I started this journey.
    So year 2 I sign-up for 2 5k’s, and 1 10k again I completed them all part run part fast walk, and in the 10k part walking and yes resting as well but I did all 3 again with my Son, and again with him waiting for me at the finish line, but way shorter time between us, and 40lbs lighter than when I started.
    So year 3… well you get it more of all of the above and 15lbs lighter than last year, BUT i got overconfident and hurt a knee so I am back to the Run/Walk/Jog that works for me and staying steady at 60lbs lighter and no medications needed.
    I now have a treadmill for rainy days, when it snows, and when its just too hot to exercise outside but I still go out as much as I can as I like outdoors better than the treadmill inside.

    So you are now saying that was really a long way to go to brag about how great you are….
    But let me say that was not and is not my intent but rather this to the workaholic, stop and take the 60 or 90 minutes you will benefit and so will your job performance, to the Mom you are already on the treadmill keep it up you are on the right path, to the 70 year old your right you do not heal like a 20 something and can’t jump in like a 40 something, but I started by walking to the end of my street and back, did not time it just got out and walked.

    Remember a sneaker manufacturer has a slogan Just-Do-It, well no truer words were every spoken Just-Do-It, and that is whatever “IT” is for you, it does not matter if it is the end of your street, the treadmill, walking the mall(many open early for Seniors to have a safe and environmentally friendly atmosphere for exercise and get social interaction), a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or full marathon set your own goal change it as you get better, and REWARD yourself when you hit that goal a new pair of sneakers, new workout gear, or even a dessert you earned it, and yes tell everyone about you and what you are doing you might just inspire the next person to take the 1st step towards whatever their IT is.

    And most importantly IGNORE those haters, as they will still be trolling the blogs commenting on what you do or your issue and on and on, seems their “IT” is trying to make themselves feel good by cutting you down, if that was Olympic sport there would be may gold medalist out there.

    Good Luck and see you out there.

  • Mariann Rothwell Ryckman

    you can adapt ANY fitness plan to your age and ability. I am 74 and active but it would be hard for me to accomplish 30 min to one hour in a week. So stretch it out to 2 weeks or a month doing one level a week. The important thing is to have a plan & do it regularly

    • I should quote you! You’ve got it, and the spirit, exactly!

  • Maria

    I want to start in this plan, how i can join the group..or is just following the instructions?

    • I don’t know if there’s a group here on myfitnesspal or not, but maybe more people in the comments will band together.

  • 🙂

  • Phillip Hoskins

    MFP strikes again. Beginners who are looking to start a walking plan for exercise this is way too aggressive. smh

    • No fitness plan works perfectly for everyone, and in the end this takes someone to walking about 3 miles per day, total.

      For most people, an hour of walking is about 6,000 steps per day. Sedentary is generally defined as between 1,000 – 3,000 steps per day, and this plan is far less aggressive than the 10k steps per day that are often recommended.

      If it takes several weeks to build up to an hour a day of walking, that’s okay, too.

      • Phillip Hoskins

        I would think about adding those types of things to your articles. This would scare a lot of people who are sedentary. To go from no walking to an hour in a week is a lot to ask.

        • Thanks for the feedback, Phillip. I’ll definitely try to keep that in mind.

          Much appreciated!

  • Leilani Aki

    Do you have a printout?

    • Doesn’t look like it, I’m afraid. You CAN print it out, but the infographic is pretty tall, so it will either be very small on the page or take multiple pages and not look pretty. 🙁

  • Carol

    I’m in, I keep trying to diet but losing the initiative and pigging out again, so with a regular walking regime I know from experience that it helps with the desire to eat healthily. I’m 61 and want to stay fit well into my eighties.

  • Teresa Meakins

    I used to walk for hours a long time ago. Done the London Marathon a few times and walked around 10 miles in one go – walked to my local shopping centre which is 4 miles away, then decided to walk to another shopping area (3 miles) and then back to the local shopping centre (2 miles). Now because of various health reasons – thyroid/heart conditions – I struggle to walk one mile. I do like to stand up whenever I can and hopefully can get back into walking again!!

  • John F. Grant

    Thanks for sharing can’t wait to try this out!!!