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Developing a Walk-Run Fitness Routine

A walk-run routine is exactly what it sounds like: a workout in which you alternate walking and running. By sprinkling running intervals throughout your walking workout, you can spike up exercise intensity and burn more calories.

Do up to three walk-run workouts a week. Walk-run is ideal for the days you want to push yourself a bit harder. If you are a runner, consider doing 1 to 2 days of walk-run to give your body a break from the daily pounding.

Be sure that you put in your training time before you attempt to do a walk-run routine on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’re asking for a blowout injury or extreme muscle soreness for days. If even short jogging stints make your knees ache, stick with pure walking.

The following walk-run routines are designed to gradually increase the amount of time you spend running, your total workout time, your workout intensity, and the number of calories you burn per workout. Easy intensity refers to a comfortable pace that you can keep up for quite a while whether you are walking or running. At moderate intensity, you are pushing but still maintaining a comfortable speed. At the challenging intensity, you are really working hard!

Start out with the first set of beginner routines; they introduce a small amount of running so that you can see how your body reacts to this activity. The second set of routines, for intermediates, increases both the total amount of running and overall workout intensity. The third set of routines is very advanced because of the amount of running you do and the high level of intensity you must maintain throughout. Stick with one level for at least a month before moving to the next level.

Beginning Walk-Run Routines
Routine 1 Routine 2 Routine 3
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Run 1 minute Run 2 minutes Run 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Run 1 minute Run 2 minutes Run 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Run 1 minute Run 2 minutes Run 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Total walk time: Total walk time: Total walk time:
26 minutes 26 minutes 26 minutes
Total run time: Total run time: Total run time:
3 minutes 6 minutes 9 minutes
Total workout time: Total workout time: Total workout time:
29 minutes 32 minutes 35 minutes
Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn:
175 205 240
Intermediate Walk-Run Routines
Routine 1 Routine 2 Routine 3
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes
MODERATE CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes
EASY MODERATE MODERATE
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes
MODERATE CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes
EASY MODERATE MODERATE
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 5 minutes
MODERATE CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes
EASY MODERATE MODERATE
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Run 3 minutes Run 3 minutes Run 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Total walk time: Total walk time: Total walk time:
23 minutes 23 minutes 27 minutes
Total run time: Total run time: Total run time:
12 minutes 12 minutes 15 minutes
Total workout time: Total workout time: Total workout time:
35 minutes 35 minutes 42 minutes
Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn:
255 290 361
Advanced Walk-Run Routines
Routine 1 Routine 2 Routine 3
Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes Walk 5 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes Run 4 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE CHALLENGING
Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes Walk 4 minutes
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes Run 4 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE CHALLENGING
Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes Walk 5 minutes
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes Run 4 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE CHALLENGING
Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes Walk 3 minutes
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Run 3 minutes Run 4 minutes Run 3 minutes
MODERATE MODERATE CHALLENGING
Walk 3 minutes Walk 4 minutes Walk 3 minutes
CHALLENGING CHALLENGING CHALLENGING
Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes Walk 3 minutes
EASY EASY EASY
Total walk time: Total walk time: Total walk time:
23 minutes 27 minutes 27 minutes
Total run time: Total run time: Total run time:
12 minutes 16 minutes 15 minutes
Total workout time: Total workout time: Total workout time:
35 minutes 43 minutes 42 minutes
Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn: Estimated calorie burn:
302 386 409
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