Starting a Schedule to Build Your Walking Habit

Walking - Taking a Step

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Repetition is the key to building a habit. You've set your fitness goals and written them down. Now it's time to make a schedule and track your progress. These are essential for success in your walking program.

How Often You Should Walk

  • You should walk a minimum of 3-4 times per week (every other day).
  • For weight loss, you should walk most days of the week, at least five days per week.
  • Walking at least every other day is best. That won't always be possible, but try not to skip more than two days in a row.
  • If you training for speed or distance, your faster/longer days should be alternated with easy/slow days and you can walk 6 days a week with one day of non-walking.

When to Walk

You must find the time of day that best suits your schedule and lifestyle. There are advantages to each time of the day, but it is very personal as to what is best for you to do consistently.

  • Many people find walking first thing in the morning to be best — they don't procrastinate or get too busy and just skip it as they do later in the day.
  • Others incorporate a walking workout into their workday by walking at breaks or lunches or right after work.
  • Still, others walk in the afternoon or evening and clear their mind after a hard day at work or at home.

Walking Partners

  • One of the best ways to make and keep a schedule is to do it with a walking partner. One of the best motivators to get out the door is to have somebody waiting for you.
  • Don't limit yourself to humans — dogs are some of the best and most motivating partners.
  • Human walking partners can be found through walking clubs or weight loss groups.

Walk Training Schedules

By Wendy Bumgardner
Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events.