Fitness

Easy walking plan

Go from the couch to brisk walking for 30 minutes in just four weeks with our step-by-step plan

Always been a bit of a couch potato? Then we’ve got good news. This easy-to-follow four-week plan will help you work up to walking (without stopping!) for 30 minutes. Even better news? A brisk walk is just as good for you as slow jogging – yet it’s low-impact, kinder on joints and easier if you’re new to exercise. Let’s get started!

Level: Beginner

Average workout length: 15-20 minutes

Getting started: The plan is spread across four weeks, which feels achievable, even if you’re a beginner. If you find the first week a little too easy, start on a different week that matches your fitness level and work up from there. And, if you’re not quite ready to move on, don’t worry. You can always repeat a week until you feel ready.

* Start every session by walking at a slower pace for 5 minutes to warm up, and remember to stretch after the session to ‘cool down’ your muscles.


Week 1
Monday
Walk for 10 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

* Are you at the right intensity? Try talking or singing as you walk – if you can do it easily, you’re at the right level.

Tuesday
Walk for 10 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

Wednesday
Walk for 10 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

* Make a playlist of your favourite songs that roughly add up to 10 minutes – that way, you won’t be watching the clock!

Thursday
Today is an optional rest day. If you need a break, take it! But if you’re keen to try something new, get stuck into any other activity you enjoy, like dancing, cycling, or a class. Even though you won’t be training, remember to make an effort to move as much as you can.

Friday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

* If you’ve got a Fitbit or pedometer, wear it – you’ll be able to track how many steps you’re able to do, which will motivate you to finish!

Saturday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

Sunday
Today is a rest day. Even though you won’t be training, remember to make an effort to move as much as you can.

Week 2
Monday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

Tuesday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low-to-moderate intensity. Time to push yourself!

* Not ready to up the intensity? Try alternating 1 minute of each intensity, so you’ll build up your stamina.

Wednesday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

Thursday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low-to-moderate intensity.

* Try walking at a moderate intensity for most of your walk. You can do it!

Friday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a low intensity.

Saturday
Walk for 15 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Want an easy way to up the ante? Choose a route with a few small hills to challenge yourself.

Sunday
Today is a rest day. Even though you won’t be training, remember to make an effort to move as much as you can.

Week 3
Monday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Switch up your route or bring along a buddy to keep things interesting.

Tuesday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Wednesday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Time to bulk out that playlist! Try alternating your intensity from song to song.

Thursday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Friday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Add a burst of speed every few minutes – like when you reach a lamppost, or every fifth house.

Saturday
Walk for 20 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Sunday
Today is an optional rest day. If you’re keen to try something new, get stuck into any other activity you enjoy, like dancing, cycling, or a class. Whatever you do, try to keep moving as much as possible.

Week 4
Monday
You’re nearly there! Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Plan a little reward for the end of the week, like some new exercise gear.

Tuesday
Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Wednesday
Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Feeling a little tired? Try a moderate walk, with short bursts of high intensity.

Thursday
Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Friday
Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* Up your training by walking up hills or stairs – it’ll increase the intensity, and it’s also a brilliant bum workout!

Saturday
Walk for 30 minutes continuously, at a moderate-to-high intensity.

* You’ve made it! Finish strong and reward yourself.

Sunday
Today is a rest day. Even though you won’t be training, remember to make an effort to move as much as you can – and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

* Ready for your next challenge? Try out the running plan, which will take you from walking to running in no time.