7 Get-Started Walking Tips from Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone
by Leslie Sansone
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7 Get-Started Walking Tips from Leslie Sansone

Hi MyFitnessPal fans! I’m Leslie Sansone, and I love to walk! I see many of you do, too, so let’s talk about it! If you’re just beginning to think about starting a walking program, you’re already on the path to better health! Here are a few get-started tips:

1. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes Cushioned running shoes designed for stability (not racing) are your best bet. You’ll want to replace your shoes about every 6 months if you’re wearing them for at least 3 workouts per week.

2. Drink water Proper hydration is critical—if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! During workouts, a helpful and easy guideline is to sip10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. Sports drinks can be high-calorie and loaded with sugar, so stick with good old h2o instead.

3. Get off the couch When you’re just starting out, try walking indoors. Walk during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show for a week. And build up to walking between the commercials the next week.

4. Add in power moves Try incorporating multi-muscle movements, like side steps, knee lifts, and arm raises, into your walking to engage your core, boost calorie burn, and increase muscle tone without any major stress on the joints. You’ll be doing what I like to call “Super Walking!” (I incorporate these moves in my Walk This Way workout, which is a moderately paced 2-miler that’s perfect for beginners.)

5. Log your effort in MyFitnessPal Tracking your miles is always a helpful practice, and it’s much easier to monitor the number of calories you burn when you do. (You can burn up to 150 calories per mile doing one of my workouts.) MyFitnessPal lists different options under “Walking” in the Exercise Diary, but if you’re adding in multi-muscle movements I suggest using the “Aerobics, general” category instead. In my workouts, we measure miles by matching the beats per minute of the music to miles per hour. Using this metric, roughly 15 minutes of in-home walking (aerobics) equals one mile. Keep in mind: Since many of those movements are done in place (like knee lifts), a pedometer device may not register every step.

6. Set a goal I recommend walking 3 to 5 times per week for general health, and 4 to 6 times per week if your goal is to lose weight.

7. Take it up a notch If you’ve been walking for a while, you can boost your calorie burn in several ways. Two options to try:

  • Pick up the pace Walking a little faster over the same distance will burn more calories.
  • Do intervals Add intervals, or short bursts, of increased speed amid longer stretches of a more moderate-paced walk—like I do in my popular Just Walk: Walk to the Hits Party Songs workouts Cool down afterwards by maintaining a leisurely pace for 5 to 7 minutes, and finish with a light stretching routine.

It’s my pleasure to go the extra miles with fellow walking fans, and I truly hope these tips help you discover how much fun you can have on your feet! Happy walking!

Who’s going for a walk today? Share in the comments!

About the Author

Leslie Sansone
Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone is America’s number-one walk expert and creator of the Walk at Home program. She believes that our bodies were made to move, and we can walk our way to health and wellness. She contributes her time, expertise and financial support to health organizations including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetic Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association. She was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2014.

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45 responses to “7 Get-Started Walking Tips from Leslie Sansone”

  1. Avatar Jessica Sanchez says:

    I started walking last week with Leslie’s videos and lost 8 lbs already! Im also tracking my calories with my fitness pal app. The scale wouldnt move but doing your videos I’ve started losing weight again. Thanks Leslie!!

  2. Avatar LouAnn says:

    been walking with Leslie since march 2014. I am up to 10 miles now a day in the morning. (2 of her advanced 5 miles walks) , started with the 1 mile. I have lost 74 lbs. and still going strong. Her walks are amazing and love that they can be done year round, no longer have to worry about the snow! (or the heat, for some) Her walks are made for everyone. Just try it! Here we gooooooo!!!

  3. Avatar Crystal says:

    I was first introduced to the Walk videos in 2005. At that time, I lost 30lbs. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t stick with it, and gained that weight back. Last August I found MFP and started walking with Leslie again. As of this morning, I have lost 62 lbs. I have also been taken off my cholesterol med., my glucose # improved, and I’ve been able to cut my bp med in half, to see if I can stop all together. I recommend Walk at Home and MyFitnessPal to anybody who wants to feel healthy!

  4. Avatar D Lemon says:

    Check one of her videos out from your local library, to see if it’s right for you. She doesn’t teach you how to walk; but her walking workouts are incredible. Whether you’re completely out of shape, or in great shape, the moves she does are easy to adjust to your level.

  5. Avatar Fran Baker says:

    I walk 2-3 miles a day – sometimes indoors with Leslie and sometimes outside with my dog. The last couple summers I’ve added water aerobics into the mix. What I like most about Leslie’s videos is the positive attitude she (and her back-ups) project. Before you know it, you’ve walked for 30 minutes and you’ve enjoyed every minute!

  6. […] 7 Get Started Walking Tips via Hello Healthy. Again… walking can make for an awesome and effective workout. Some good tips to get you started. […]

  7. Avatar Laverne AsIam says:

    I have been walking with Ms Sansone for several years and have lost 40 lbs so far. To this day I still walk with her and I love her Walk at Home program. Its not just walking its working your TOTAL body and knowing when its time to take it up a notch. I’m currently walking with Burn Body Fat and the boost in the video really does the job..

  8. Avatar Laverne AsIam says:

    When we walk we are doing a leisure walk Leslie’s programs you are walking at a 15 minute mile pace. Don’t hate participate trust me you will be breathless and maybe even sweating..:)

  9. Avatar Keli says:

    The difference is the simple moves in her workouts that benefit your entire body, from beginner to advanced. Very effective! give it a try, and you’ll see why.

  10. Avatar 40andfindingfitness says:

    I already do everything except adding power moves. Gotta add that to my checklist.

  11. Avatar Gail says:

    I am so sad that comcast took Leslie off of the exercise channel. I walked with her everyday, now I am lost. I miss walking with Leslie!

    • Avatar Kathy Ruth says:

      Go to her website and click on WalkSocial in the top bar. She has online videos you can do. There are also a lot of her videos on YouTube!

  12. Avatar Hvysuga says:

    Hi just seen this info will someone tea up with me

  13. Avatar Amanda says:

    I have just started using Leslie’s videos and I love them! They are very motivational and I don’t feel so overwhelmed that I end up quitting right away. I plan on buying a new video each month to change it up and keep myself motivated 🙂 Thanks Leslie!

  14. Avatar Djrasta Queen says:

    Back in 2010 I was 201 lbs was unhappy stress did not know which way to turn
    Then one day I went to target I saw leslie sansone dvd I start using here ever since
    Now I, m down 47 lbs tks u leslie sansone
    Now I, m doing leslie sansone walk away the pound express super challenge 4 miles walk for 30 days today my 4 day along with my water I work out every day

  15. Avatar Thazin says:

    so far so good 🙂 I started using her programs since the start of 2014 this year to lose weight but because of my careless over-eating, I couldn’t lose weight. Now I lost 5kg by her exercises 🙂

  16. Avatar Amy says:

    How do you find her walk workouts??

  17. Avatar Amy says:

    How can I find her workouts?

  18. Avatar rose says:

    My friend to me about her WATP I love them! I have quite a few of her videos. Seeing this has made me want to start walking again♡

  19. Avatar Noelle says:

    How can I incorporate more leg & butt toning moves without putting stress on my bad knees? I love the benefits & results of squats & lunges but they tear up my knees. Open to suggestions! Thanks!

  20. Avatar JOYFUL66 says:

    I’ve been walking with Leslie since 2003. Especially during our frigid Midwest winters, her videos and DVDs were essential to my fitness and stress-reduction routine. When I moved to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for almost 5 yrs of mission work, Leslie’s 2009 DVD was in my trunk. She’s like an old friend with her enthusiastic encouragement! Though recently retired I’m returning to Ethiopia for a few months of teaching and once again Leslie will be in my laptop for daily fitness!

  21. Avatar Viveca says:

    I’ve been walking with Leslie for years, she has lots of fun in her videos, makes it all worth while!!! I especially love her Walk Kick video! Thanks Leslie!

  22. Avatar Caroline Harris says:

    I love Leslie Sansone walks and do the 3mile fast one every day.

  23. Avatar Caroline Harris says:

    Get them off youtube.

  24. Avatar Melanie says:

    I started walking with a couple of co-workers during our breaks. It’s too cold outside, and the inside is set up as a square. We measured and if we get around 10 times we have walked a whole mile!

  25. Avatar Mary says:

    I love to walk with Leslie. When I started I had terrible hip pain and after 2 months my pain is gone. Thanks Leslie

  26. Avatar Jussardi says:

    I record all of my walking in MapMyRun. I have been a Leslie Sansone fan for over 2 years now after discovering her walking videos on YouTube. I have purchased 4 of her DVDs, the most recent being the 4 Mile Power Walk…I love the power surges. By doing regular walks with Leslie..I lost over 10lbs. I now combine her walks with working out in the gym. It’s amazing what walking routines can do!!

  27. […] walk in anytime of the day or night—just learn my four “multi-muscle” moves, and you will be walking strong every day you are blessed to live. Here’s all you […]

  28. Avatar DSimpson says:

    So happy to see this, I have been walking with Leslie on and off for years! I just got back into it and this just gave me the extra incentive that I need.

  29. Avatar Barb says:

    Which one of Leslie’s video’s would we start with. As i see she has many on the market.

  30. Avatar Lisa Ondris-green says:

    I had early appointments this morning so I got up at 5:30 a.m. just to get my 3 mile walk in. love to start my day with a walk. got home and put In 3 more miles with leslie

  31. Avatar Dyan says:

    Leslie, I am a long time fan of your videos and have gathered quite a few. It is nice to switch off now and again so I appreciate all of them. However, I remember getting several videos of you when you looked a bit heavier than you do now for your 30 Day Challenge video. I am wondering if it was a hormone problem as I know when one’s hormones are not balanced there is no way to lose weight … if you wouldn’t mind sharing as you look amazing now … just like you did for years and years. Thank you.

  32. Avatar susan blue sky says:

    i just started with leslie a few weeks ago. i was a 40 year 1 1/2 pack smoker and never had an overweight problem. always underweight and eating to keep the weight on. now its been a year that i had quit smoking, and in place of that i started eating and then here came the pounds. yeah going in the other direction now. but then i saw leslie and i just fell in love with her work outs and i am doing the 2 mile work out. and i am going to be 61 years old in 3 months. and yes i can keep up with her. now aint that a kicker? love it. happy walking to everyone!!! it doesnt matter how old you are and how much mobility you have, start with what you got and move forward at your own pace and do the best you can. thats all. no one wants to lose what mobility they may have. God bless everyone and thank you leslie!!!

  33. Avatar Aida says:

    I just joined the #GoRedGetFit challenge group on FaceBook to start working on better heart health and better health overall and I will be using Leslie Sansone’s walking program to get back to my walking regimen…. I used it sometime ago and it definitely is a great workout for those that can’t always get outdoors for whatever reason. 🙂

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