Walking Workouts with Intervals

This walking program uses intervals (short bursts of higher-intensity activity followed by lower intensity recovery periods), which can be a more effective way to train (and burn calories) than exercising at one intensity level. If you're new to walking or exercise, start with the Beginner program. As you progress, slowly increase your time and eventually move to the Intermediate and Advanced workouts. Because this is a general program, you may need to adjust the recommended speeds, intensities and times to suit your fitness level. 
 

Getting Started


Use the FIT (Frequency, Intensity and Time) Principles for a safe and effective workout!
  • Frequency: Try the walking workout listed three to five times per week, depending on your fitness level. Beginners should do fewer days, while intermediate to advanced walkers can safely do more.
  • Intensity: Walk at a brisk—not leisurely—pace. Don’t worry about what your pace really is, but do pay attention to your overall intensity, aiming for five to seven on a scale of one to 10. You’ll find a full explanation of the one to 10 Intensity Scale (known as RPE) below the workouts.
  • Time: Try to follow the suggested workout guidelines to the best of your ability, which means that you'll gradually increase your walk time as you progress from the beginner to the intermediate and advanced interval workouts.
And remember, always warm up and cool down. Warming up at a slow pace will help prepare your joints, muscles and heart for exercise. Cooling down will prepare your body to return to a resting state, help prevent muscle soreness, and prevent illness and injury.
 

Beginner Interval Walking Workout

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Intermediate Interval Walking Workout
 
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Advanced Interval Walking Workout

An Explanation of Using the RPE Method to Measure Intensity
Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) may be the most versatile method to measure exercise intensity for all age groups. Using this method is simple, because all you have to do is estimate how hard you feel like you’re exerting yourself during exercise. RPE is a good measure of intensity because it is individualized—it’s based on your current fitness level and overall perception of exercise. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, allowing you to rate how you feel physically and mentally at a given intensity level.
 

An RPE between five and seven is recommended for most adults. This means that at the height of your workout, you should feel you are working "somewhat hard" to "hard."
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Member Comments

THANKS Report
good ideas thanks Report
Really like the Interval training! Report
Great article. Report
Thank you for this article. I'm a beginner and this gives me a good starting point and encourages me to step it up a bit. Report
Nice charts. Report
Very informative - Thank you Report
I have used the above as a guideline for a very long time and now, I am able to set my own guidelines according to my quarterly progress, both gym as well as cardio...
Report
TOMATOCAFEGAL
Hard to do intervals when walking the dog. Hard to get old dog to change pace! Report
Needed this Report
like this Report
I like walking, thank you for the very good article! Report
Great Report
Good schedules...Thx! Report
I like fast pace walking and have a hard time with slower walking. Report


 

About The Author

Nicole Nichols
Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.