Amp Up Your Walking With This 4-Week Reset Plan

by Jessica Smith
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The start of the new school year is when many of us fall back into a regular routine, which makes it the perfect time to re-establish your exercise habit. What better way to get back into the groove than by walking your way into it?

There’s no need to be overwhelmed at the thought of starting an entirely new workout program, just take it one mile at a time. Walking is fantastic exercise — not only is it great for your health, it’s free and you already know how to do it.

Keep things simple and jumpstart your fall fitness with this customizable, weekly walk plan that makes it easy to start (or resume) a regular walking routine.

DIRECTIONS

Week 1: Aim for three walks this week, at 1–3 miles each day, perhaps Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you are just starting out, or resuming a regular walking plan, start with just one mile at a time. Regular walkers can jump in with 3 (or more if you are used to it!) miles.

Week 2: Aim for four walks this week, at 1–4 miles each day, perhaps Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Be sure to gradually increase your mileage each week, adding an extra mile only on one or two days, until you feel ready for more.

Week 3: Aim for five walks this week, at 1–4 miles each day, perhaps Monday through Friday. Try alternating longer mileage days with shorter sessions. For instance, walk for 4 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday.

Week 4: Aim for five walks this week, at 1–5 miles each day, perhaps Monday through Friday. Pump up your pace with intervals during your shorter-mileage sessions. For instance, if you are aiming for 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, try alternating 3 minutes of a brisk pace with 30–60 seconds of a jog or power-walking speed.

PRO TIPS

The days are suggestions, so feel free to switch up the days of the week you walk if that’s more convenient for your schedule. You can also break up your miles — they don’t have to be consecutive to count. If your goal for the day is 3 miles, try 1 mile in the morning, 1 mile at lunchtime and 1 after dinner. Whatever days and times work best is the best way for you to walk.

It’s always a good idea to start and end your walks with a brief warmup and cooldown to avoid muscle strain. At the beginning of your walk, focus on building steadily, progressing your speed from an easy-to-brisk pace within 2–3 minutes. Focus on maintaining good posture by drawing your abs gently into your spine and concentrate on pushing off through your entire foot with each step.


READ MORE > 3 WAYS TO LOSE MORE WEIGHT WALKING


To wind down your walk, finish up with about 2–3 minutes of striding at an easy pace to lower your heart and breathing rates. You may also want to add this series of chair stretches designed to stretch your walking muscles to wrap up.

Can’t get outside or on a treadmill? Fit in your miles anytime — rain or shine — from home with my “Walk On: 5 Mix and Match Miles” DVD! You can do a single mile, try one of our 2-, 3- or 4-mile premixes, or create your own custom walk with our programmable DVD menu (no equipment required).

Thanks for joining us, we’re so glad you are here. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so let’s start walking!

TELL US YOU’RE IN!

Leave a comment below, and let us know you’ll be joining us. We’re here to support each other and be accountable. We’re in this together!

Related

  • Elly Molina

    I’m in!! Been walking now for about 2 weeks and this pefectly aligns with what I’m doing!

  • Nikki Arguin

    I’m in.

  • Elizabeth Coleman

    Ive been walking 4-6 miles a day for the past 3 weeks and I’m enjoying it!!

  • Shenequa

    I’m in!

  • Jayne Dimsdale

    I’m in! I’ve always struggled with running and need to get back in shape after ill health. Love to be out in the fresh air so this challenge is perfect

  • Pam

    I’m in! I was walking 5 to 7 days a week last spring and I’ve fallen off the wagon. Desperately need to start again!

  • Deb

    I’m in! Finally got the go-ahead from my OB to start getting more active. It’s been nearly 7wks since having my 4th C-Section & going through a complicated healing process. Im SO ready to get up & active & lose this baby weight!

  • Jaquie Onifer

    Definitely in!

  • Nancy

    I’m in

    • Nancy

      I walk everyday 3 miles. Count me in.

  • Jamie Cannon Jones

    Yes I’m in, ready to do this

  • Jasmine

    I’m in also@ I’ll take the four week challenge. I am doing this for my health and to ease pain.

  • Rosie Miner

    I’m in!!! I need y’all!

  • Chuck Weir

    I’m in! I need to step up my activity!

  • Deidra

    I’m in!

  • Jennifer Evans Dunfee

    I’m in! Time to get back in shape!!

  • Donna Buckley

    Have had serious health adventures over the last 20 months. I’m blessed to be strong enough to begin to rebuild my fitness, endurance, and flexibility. This sounds a perfect way to do just that!

  • Mike Walker

    I’m in have recently split with my wife of 12 yrs & have become a real chunky monkey I need to shed those kilos

  • Tracy

    I’m in!

  • Maureen Brophy

    I’m in! Time to really get healthy!

  • Kelly

    I’m in.. I have been in a relationship for 10 years and recently they decided they were not happy and wanted out.. I am ready for a positive change and relearn to love myself..

  • Snow

    I’m in

  • Nkennedy

    Yes please

  • Anita Carol Gambrell

    I’m in!

  • D

    I’m in

  • Fay pollen

    I’m in the 4 wk walking program

  • Maureen

    Im in! 4 wks walking!! Then Disney in November!

  • JB66

    I am in!

  • Denise

    I’m in!

  • Jenny

    I’m in!

  • Britt

    I’m in too!

  • Aysha Nur

    Im so in

  • Pat Robins

    Great idea! I’m in!

  • Brklyn73

    I went from completing several half marathons to being almost entirely sedentary due to a job change. This will be a good way to get me going again and getting in shape for my wedding next year.

  • Sandra

    I’m in! Been poorly this year but putting weight on due to it is definitely not helping! Bring it on!!! Good luck everyone!

  • Lisa

    I’m in! Starting with the miles today!

  • Ruth Y

    I’m in….

  • Jo

    Best of luck everyone.

  • Rachel B

    I’m in!

  • Debra

    I’m in too!

  • Anisah

    I can do this. Today I will begin.

  • Michelle

    I’m so in. Something has to change

  • Michelle

    I’m so in. Something has to change

  • Ang

    Yes, yes Yes! Let’s do it!

  • Kathryn McAllister

    I’m in YAY!!!!

  • Amber

    I’m in! My husband & I keep talking about walking and this is the perfect way to get back into it!

  • Beth

    I’m in

  • Lyndsey Baldwin

    I’m in

  • Kelley Clark Martin

    Perfect timing. I’m in.

  • Bailey

    I’m in! I’m recovering from a big hike once I can walk normal again I’ll be getting started lol!

  • Regina

    I am in,

  • Michael Pemberton

    It seems so simple on the surface. Walk to get fit. But having a structure that offers measurable results is key. Thank for this. I wonder about pace, tho, how important is it to track that? Or is it better to pay attention to heart rate? If so, are intervals more effective than straight sustained elevated rate?

    • Albert Arcand

      One should use both pace and heart rate together in a walking exercise program. Intervals will teach your body how to run at a desire pace. While walking a distance at sustained elevated rate will teach you heart to pump at more constant rate.
      Let say that you can walk a mile in 16 minutes. For interval workout do four quarters at 3:50 each with a minute rest between quarters. Adjust your rest periods so that on your third and fourth quarters you are very close to the 3:50 mark. For sustained walk try doing three miles at 18 minute pace for 54 minute total time for three miles.

  • Sara

    I’m in..my 4 girls and I love going for walks!!

  • Befree

    I’m in! #walking #workout #fitnessplan

  • Miranda

    I’m in!

  • Laurie Rodriguez

    I’m in!! Changing my workouts after a shoulder injury. I love walking with my hubs!!

  • Angela Boardman

    I’m in

  • Stephanie

    I’m in.

  • Layla Trombley

    I’m in!

  • Kim

    I’m in. Need a motivator

  • Peter Ch

    I am innnnn :)))

  • Christie

    I’m in, but need motivation!

  • Millie Shelton

    I’m in. Gotta move more. Gotten lazy. So here I go !

  • Kiara Keys

    I’m in!!

  • Dana Brown

    I am in, this is good info and I am ready. I also do a group training, Camp gladiator but have gotten lazy on all of it. Need to step back up and get it done.

  • Eugene Solomon

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a63c2d6e9386a8092b9de222f9591fec70b5a039e4f1fe42350b0fdb63c63bf5.png…. I got rid of diabetes from walking… I walk before and after every meal. I walk a minimum of 7 miles a day… 18 miles was the most miles I’ve ever walked in a day. Walking is free, it’s simple for most people and it allows you to clear your mind. Walking helps with balance and coordination. I can go on and on about walking. Lol

  • Saara Antunovic

    I’m in – summers here and I need to do something so having a program to work to will be fantastic. Thanks for this, will be interesting to see how I go from here. Bring it on!!

  • Cassie Murphy Bryant

    I’m in

  • Sharon Mitchell

    I am going to go for my first 3 mile walk this afternoon in and around my neighborhood. I will let you know how it went.

  • Leanne Lloyd

    I’m in!

  • trummy

    I am OUT, got to much to do as it is- so it will still be 8 miles with a pub lunch on Fridays

  • Tam McCallum

    I do fancy this but is there a way to download it to endomondo so I can set reminders.

  • Albert Arcand

    At first I was concern seeing the mentioning of jogging in a walking program. Then I realized the need to take a break once in a while from strenuous walking.

  • GreggMarie Pittman Bailey

    I’m in

  • beverly

    i will try. I am partially disabled, and walk slowly, but it all helps.

  • Janis

    I am in.

  • Robin B

    I’m in

  • Robin B

    I’m in

  • Annette Molnar

    I am in

  • John Robideau

    In also

  • Amy

    I’m in! I have been STRUGGLING to lose weight.. no carbs, now carb cycling & walking 5-6 days/week & cannot lose any weight. I cannot run due to 2 hip surgeries to fix (1st surgery) & then clean out torn (then shredded + torn cartilage) labrum in my hip. Hip will need to be replaced, but I’m only 42 & they want to wait as long as possible. Pain isn’t bad, but limited range of motion & now bad body posture. But the weight struggle continues! I do not “cheat” on my meals, but for the life of me cannot lose weight! I need to lose at least 40 lbs.

  • Nick

    I’m in x

  • Suzy Armitage

    Hi . I’m in . But any chance you could also put a converted kilometre distance in too. Some of us just can’t do miles!

  • John Burns (Burnsy)

    Love the free app I started of with 1 goal an reached it in few week’s im now using your app MAP MY WALK (free) on a daily basis it’s the extra push needed im in

  • Lisa Eischen

    I’m in!!!!

  • Charnel Nichols Hallman

    I’m in

  • Amy

    I’m in!

  • Patricia Brooks

    I’m in, I need the motivation to go further than the 1 mile I have been walking.

  • Lisa Larson

    I am in. But I would like to know how some people warm up to walk. I think I somehow need to stretch my feet more, if that make sense.

    • adams12

      Use the same exercises they prescribe for plantar faciitis. I had to have surgery for mine and I’ve found that along with stretching out my foot they work really well on my calf muscles as well.

      • Lisa Larson

        Thank you

  • Andrea Lafayette

    I am in. Just started yesterday with a mile, but need to start slowly due to being diagnosed with arthritis in the left knee.

  • Don Ebberts

    I did this! 3 and a half years ago, I decided to start walking and what I did was very similar to what you are suggesting. I didn’t read anything, I just thought about it and came up with a plan.
    Instead of miles, I went for time. I started off walking 20 minutes, 5 times a week. After 2 weeks, I moved it up to 25 minutes, then kept increasing it by 5 minutes every 2 weeks.
    Now, I regularly walk about an hour a day, 5 days a week, usually between 4-5 miles. I have kept track of my mileage, using MapMyFitness and am getting close, 19 miles to go, to breaking 3,500 miles! Thanks for the help. I have also lost 80 pounds, as a combination of the walking and cutting down on what I eat. I really like your app!

  • Vicki Fawcett-Adams

    I’m in. I hope. Lately I’ve lost all I’m motivation. It seems after losing 44# my motivation went out the window. Sad.

  • adams12

    I’ve lost 65 pounds in the last 7 months! Yayyy me! I’ve been walking 4 miles a day at least 6 days a week and I feel great. One suggestion that worked really well for me. If you can, walk half the distance in one direction leaving no choice but to walk back. I’m lucky to live near a river walk that goes for about 8 miles so just watching the seasons change and the wildlife made the walk so much more enjoyable. Petting all the dogs I meet along the way didn’t hurt either, lol.

  • Terry Vernieuw

    I’m in. 54 years old, type 2 diabetic. Really struggling lately with both diet and exercise. Need to lose at least 50 lbs. Hope I can win the fight with motivation…

  • Kellie

    I’m in … I’m 54 and recently donated a kidney to my brother and I really need to get back in shape. It is so hard to start again!

  • Leona

    I’m in