How to Set Up a Fitness Walking Routine

Fitness walking is a good way to get in top-notch cardiovascular condition and lose weight. When you fitness walk, you generally move along at a brisk pace of 3.5 to 4.3 miles an hour, covering a mile in a respectable 14 to 17 minutes. Because fitness walking is faster and more intense than lifestyle walking (or casual walking, which is more like a leisurely stroll), you work up a sweat and burn significantly more calories.

The extra effort and calorie burn are partly the result of the faster pace. Because you walk faster, you cover more distance in less time. The farther and faster you go, the more calories you burn. Simple as that. But fitness walking is an effective exercise for another reason, too: You use more muscles. Your hips and butt get more into the act. And, as a result of your powerful arm swing, so does your upper body.

The following fitness routines take a 9-week ramped approach to your workouts. The first routine adds a few fitness walks into your workouts; it’s ideal for those just working into higher level exercise. The second routine adds 1 additional fitness walking day per week, and the third routine has you fitness walking 5 days a week. Do the first routine for a week or two and then, if you feel comfortable, ramp up to the second routine and then the third.

Fitness Walking Routine 1 — Weeks 1–3
Day Activity Description
1 Lifestyle walk Intensity: 50 to 60% of max
30 to 60 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 120 to 240
Mileage: 1.5 to 3.0 miles
2 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
3 Lifestyle walk Intensity: 50 to 60% of max
30 to 60 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 120 to 240
Mileage: 1.5 to 3.0 miles
4 REST
5 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
6 Lifestyle walk Intensity: 50 to 60% of max
30 to 60 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 120 to 240
Mileage: 1.5 to 3.0 miles
7 REST
Weekly Totals: Walking time: 150 to 270 minutes
Calories burned: 720 to 1,260 weekly
Mileage: 8.3 to 15 miles
Fitness Walking Routine 2 — Weeks 4–6
Day Activity Description
1 Lifestyle walk Intensity: 50 to 60% of max
30 to 60 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 120 to 240
Mileage: 1.5 to 3.0 miles
2 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
3 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
4 Lifestyle walk Intensity: 50 to 60% of max
30 to 60 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 120 to 240
Mileage: 1.5 to 3.0 miles
5 REST
6 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
7 REST
Weekly Totals: Walking time: 150 to 255 minutes
Calories burned: 780 to 1,290 weekly
Mileage: 8.7 to 15 miles
Fitness Walking Routine 3 — Weeks 7–9
Day Activity Description
1 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
2 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
3 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
4 REST
5 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
6 Fitness walk Intensity: 60 to 75% of max
30 to 45 minutes Estimated calorie burn: 180 to 270
Mileage: 1.9 to 3.0 miles
7 REST
Weekly Totals: Walking time: 150 to 225 minutes
Calories burned: 900 to 1,350 weekly
Mileage: 9.5 to 15 miles
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