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How Can One Create A Walking Workout?

People love to walk. Maybe they do it for exercise, to get a breathe of fresh air, or to take their dog out. Walking can not only be enjoyable, but also a good form of cardio. How can one create a walking workout routine?

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: How Can One Create A Walking Workout?

The Question:

People love to walk. Maybe they do it for exercise, to get a breathe of fresh air, or to take their dog out. Walking can not only be enjoyable, but also a good form of cardio.

How can one create a walking workout routine?

How many days per week should one walk? For how long? What should the intensity be like? Etc.

What kinds of goals can one set for walking?

Bonus Question: What are some of the benefits of walking, and how does it compare to other forms of cardio?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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1st Place - TUnit
Walking

People love to walk. Maybe they do it for exercise, to get a breathe of fresh air, or to take their dog out. Walking can not only be enjoyable, but is also a good form of cardio.


Walking Workout Routine:
How can one create a walking workout routine?

A walking workout routine would have to be based around a person's individual needs and goals. For example, a very active athlete would not benefit greatly from walking because of all the running and/or weight training they would be doing already for their sport.

walk

However, walking could definitely be used as active recovery for a power athlete, especially after an intense weight lifting session. For someone interested in power walking, more intense workouts would be formulated.

The person would work to increase aerobic endurance and elevate their lactate threshold so they would be able to perform better, as opposed to someone who would use walking just to improve overall fitness. Like anything else, the walking workout routine would have to be individualized to fit the needs and goals for that person.


Workout:
How many days per week should one walk? For how long? What should the intensity be like? Etc.

I would treat a walking workout routine no differently than a regular workout routine, that is, different levels could be used for different goals and skill levels. This means that a different routine would be used for someone who has been walking for years as opposed to someone who just started walking on a regular basis.

Beginner Workout Routine:

    Just began walking, just looking for some low to moderate intensity exercise a few times per week.

      Monday: Low Intensity Walking - 30 Minutes

      Tuesday: Moderate Intensity Walking - 30 Minutes

      Wednesday: Low Intensity Walking - 30 Minutes

      Thursday: Moderate Intensity Walking - 30 Minutes

      Friday: Low Intensity Walking - 30 Minutes

      Saturday: OFF

      Sunday: OFF

      print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Beginner Workout Routine.

Intermediate Workout Routine:

Advanced Workout Routine:

Notes For All Workout Routines:

    • Low Intensity Walking is defined as a casual stroll (anywhere from 1-2 miles per hour).
    • Moderate Intensity Walking is walking at a slightly brisk pace (anywhere from 2-4 miles per hour).
    • High Intensity Walking is walking at a brisk pace, or simply power walking (anywhere from 4 miles per hour and faster).

    Additionally you do not have to walk on the day that you weight train, or you can go for a 15-20 minute low intensity walk following your workout to help facilitate recovery. If you must, use a treadmill but it is highly suggested that you walk outdoors.

    Most of these workouts are seven days per week, but if you cannot fit one or two workouts into your schedule, do not worry about it. In these programs, missing a few workouts here and there is absolutely fine, especially if you weight train a few times per week. To compensate for this there are no off days during the week (except for the beginner program).


Goals:
What kinds of goals can one set for walking?

Someone who is just starting a walking program could set some general goals to finish all their planned workouts or to improve basic fitness levels. A detailed journal or log, such as the ones found on www.bodybuilding.com would go a long way in helping you track your workouts and your mood before and after walking.

A fairly experienced walker would also be able to record such information, but could also have a more detailed log that could include short and long-term goals such as improve aerobic endurance (VO2 max) and walk a longer distance every week in a certain period of time.

VO2MAX CALCULATOR

Enter the total distance covered in meters in 12 minutes and then press the 'Calculate' button.

1600 meters = 1 mile
5280 feet = 1 mile
3 feet = 1 meter

Distance meters
Results
Vo2 Max

The advanced or competitive walker would need to set goals much like any other athlete would. These could include:

  • Improve aerobic endurance
  • Improve lactate threshold
  • Walk a long distance every week in a certain period of time
  • Walk at a faster pace for a sustained period of time every week

You would be able to set such goals and reward yourself periodically with some kind of treat or "prize."


Bonus Question:
What are some of the benefits of walking, and how does it compare to other forms of cardio?

Not only does walking give you the benefits of breathing in fresh air or relaxing with a stroll in the park, walking can increase the length of your life as well as provide various other health benefits. A November 2005 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine came to this conclusion about walking:

"A moderate level of physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day, lengthened life by 1.3 years and added 1.1 more years without cardiovascular disease, compared with those with low activity levels.

Those who chose a high physical activity level gained 3.7 years of life and added 3.3 more years without cardiovascular disease."

LIFESPAN LENGTHENING CALCULATOR

Results:
Your Extended Lifespan
More Years Without Cardiovascular Disease

Walking has also been known to elevate mood and help you keep off unwanted fat. Walking is also a good time to have a conversation while exercising if you walk with a group of people.

Low to Moderate intensity walking does not necessarily give the performance benefits of other types of cardio such as jogging or running but it can easily be used as a form of active recovery for power athletes, or as a way of staying active for those that do not or cannot exercise.

High intensity walking, or power walking, can be effective in increasing aerobic endurance, improving your lactate threshold, and helping shed body fat, all of which are important for endurance sports.


2nd Place - Aussie LTD

People love to walk. Maybe they do it for exercise, to get a breathe of fresh air, or to take their dog out. Walking can not only be enjoyable, but also a good form of cardio.


Walking Workout Routine:
How can one create a walking workout routine?

A good way to start is by determining your main aim from training. When you have decided upon this, you should take into account you're your fitness level, as well as your schedule.

Consider your work hours as well as your family schedule, because it's no good starting a plan that doesn't fit your lifestyle.

When you have the above covered, it's time to start creating your walking workout routine based on your goals. Following I have provided my own 2 sample walking routines for different needs; one that is better suited for you're beginner, or more casual trainer, and the other better suited for those who are more advanced. Read on.

The Casual Walker:

    Program Notes:

      Not all of us who train have the goal of becoming an athlete. Some just want an exercise routine that is down to earth, but will also provide all the benefits that exercise can bring.

      This routine will give you that. It is a simple design that sees you walking for 3 sessions of 30 minutes, 3 days per week, as well as 2 additional 45 minute sessions on the weekend. Resistance training is performed 2 times per week as well, for strength and conditioning.

      This routine will provides a strong line of health benefits on a time-frame that fits into your schedule.

    Days Per Week: 4-5
    Intensity: light-medium
    Level: Beginner
    Duration Per Session: 30 or 45 minutes

The More Serious Trainer:

    Program Notes:

      This routine is better suited for your more advance trainer. It combines 3 days low-duration higher-intensity walking, with two less intense sessions of 45 minutes each.

      Your power-walks should be shorter in duration, but should be performed at a medium-higher intensity, whereas your longer distance walks can be done at a slower, more relaxed pace.

      Your higher intensity workouts should be either incline walking, which can be performed by either walking uphill, or on a treadmill, or interval training, which can be done alternating between faster and slower paces, and will provide the best of both worlds; high-intensity and low-intensity.

      Additionally, resistance training is performed 3 days per week. It's optional whether you decide to perform resistance training more than this, but your walking routine should stay the same either way.

    Days Per Week: 5 days
    Intensity: medium-high
    Level: Advanced
    Duration Per Session: 30 or 45 minutes

    • Monday: Power-walk, 30 minutes
    • Tuesday: Resistance training, 45 minutes
    • Wednesday: Interval walking, 30 minutes
    • Thursday: Resistance training, 45 minutes
    • Friday: Slower-paced walk, 45 minutes
    • Saturday: Incline walking, 30 minutes
    • Sunday: Resistance training, 45 minutes, Slower-paced walk, 45 minutes
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of The More Serious Trainer Routine.


Frequency & Intensity:
How many days per week should one walk? For how long? What should the intensity be like?

Like any form of cardio, you should aim to do a minimum of 3-4 days per week to gain benefit. You can up this amount to up to 6 days per week, depending on your level of fitness, or your individual goals.

Length of sessions should be at least 30 minutes. This length ensures you experience the endorphin release that's associated with exercise, while also giving your cardiovascular system a lengthy workout. Sessions can extend up to 60 minutes per sessions depending on how fit you are.

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When Is The Best Time To Do Cardio?
Some people wake up at 4:00am just to do their cardio. Then later in the day they do their weightlifting routine. Others do their cardio before or after their workout routine. Some run at midnight to avoid heat.

Overall, your training frequency needn't be too high though. I would recommend beginners start with 30 minutes per session, 4 days per week. Advanced trainers on the other hand should stick to the same frequency, but look at other ways of increasing intensity by things such as using power-walking, incline walking or interval-training.

This is because too long workouts can be counterproductive and time consuming. But if you aim to increase the intensity rather than duration, you can get twice as much done, and do it in the same time-frame.

Beginners should start at an easy-moderate pace before they gain a degree of fitness. It's important you pace yourself too, and stick to a speed you are able to maintain without fatiguing.

You can determine how hard you're training by how heavily you are breathing; if you are unable to even say a word to someone, you probably need to turn down the pace a little, but on the other hand, if you can talk effortlessly, you're probably not training hard enough.

A more professional measure of intensity can be achieved by using a device called a heart rate monitor, where you set your heart rate, and then exercise within your desired range. This will help set a healthy pace, as well track your training progress.

However you decide to monitor your intensity, ensure you are going at a level you're body is able to handle. Make sure you aren't training too hard, or too much, and within no time positive results be yours.


Goals:
What kinds of goals can one set for walking?

Before you start anything in life, you should have some sort of idea as to what you are wanting to achieve. With exercise, it's fair to say our main goal would be to improve our health, fitness and the way we look. It's the main motivation behind working out.

With time, we need to improve and progress with our training, so it's important we set more individual goals. Before anything, I recommend setting reasonable goals. These are goals that are difficult, but also achievable. These ensure you are challenging yourself, and at the same time, avoiding the dissatisfaction associated with extreme standards.

What type of goals should you set? Behavioral and outcome goals. These are goals that deal with your behavior, and then the outcome of your behavior.

Example behavioral goals are:

  • Train at least 9 out of ever 10 sessions
  • Train within a specific heart-rate range each session
  • Ensure I'm eating a nutritious meal after each training session

Once behavior goals are determined, you can set outcome goals, which should be a result of the above goals. Good examples include:

  • Be able to walk around the block within 30 minutes
  • Strengthen my legs muscles
  • Loose 5 lbs by the end of the month

Once you achieve your goals and see the relationship between your behavior and the outcome, you will be amazed at the amount of satisfaction it can be bring.

Whatever goals you are setting, if you keep them achievable, you're twice as likely to achieve success. Ensure you're goals are reasonable and experience all the benefits they'll bring.


Bonus Question:
What are some of the benefits of walking, and how does it compare to other forms of cardio?

Walking will provide the same benefits as all cardiovascular-type exercise that condition the heart. These begin with an increase in the capacity of oxygen the heart can utilize, leading to easier breathing and a better functioning heart, and of course, better fitness levels.

As a result of these changes, walking can protect against cardiovascular disease, the world's biggest killer. Not only does it increase the efficiency of the heart, but it also helps by controlling all of the risk factors associated with disease. These are high cholesterol, blood pressure and stress.

Exercise also protects against diabetes. This is because walking helps the body control blood-sugar levels, while increasing the effectiveness of how the body uses the hormone insulin.

On top of this, walking is great as a relaxing activity to get your mind off the hassles of everyday life, by providing an energizing and relaxing experience. It will also improve the quality of sleep, improve self-esteem, provide energy and improve overall well-being.

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[ Click here to learn more. ]

How does walking compare to other forms of cardio? Walking is very similar in effect to most cardiovascular exercise regardless of being less intense.

In fact, higher intensity walking can burn almost as much energy as lower intensity running. Even lower-intensity walking is an excellent choice for conditioning the heart, and burning fat.

Walking is less stress on joints and tissues, as well as being a better choice for the elderly, pregnant women, or any other sub-group who aren't needing to train at sky-high intensity. Overall, walking is a great form of cardio anyone can do, and can be a great addition to any training routine.


3rd Place - bigcalves


Introduction

Walking is a great form of cardio. In the park, on the beach, down the neighborhood. It can be done virtually anywhere. Walking gives you a chance to clear out your mind, breathe in some fresh air, and most importantly it's a form of low impact cardio!

It burns calories, speeds up your metabolism, conditions your joints and stretches your muscles. After a walk most people feel refreshed and ready to cope with life tasks. Walking is a great way to loose weight for beginners and also great for senior citizens or those that are rehabilitating from an injury or an operation.

People of all age and sizes can benefit. If you have a dog you can take long walks, that way you get great cardio and your pet benefits from it too.

  • Great for senior citizens
  • People that are doing rehab from accidents or operations
  • Beginners that are just starting out
  • Dog walkers
  • Low impact cardio for people with joint problems
  • Great for family cardio, as you can talk and walk as a family


Walking Workout Routine:
How can one create a walking workout routine?

Walking can be great as a start for a better fitness life, or as adding more activities. First off you have to set a goal. Why are you going to start this program? Are you trying to loose weight? Rehabilitate an injury, or do you just want to enjoy your neighborhood.

Make a goal of what you should do. If your trying to spend more time with your kids, then a five day a week schedule might not be for you, but if you are just beginning to workout and want to loose extra fat, then you could benefit from 5 walks a week. Just make sure to set a clear goal. That is the first step to creating a walking workout routine.

Next you need to take your time into consideration. Can you walk 5 days a week? Are you going to walk at night, in the morning or after dinner? Make a basic plan on your schedule. Consider your daily tasks and then create a time frame in which you could train at. This will be your time. No chores, no distractions. Just time to improve yourself and not think about anything else.

After you're done with that, think about how many days you want to do it. If you want to loose fat and get in better shape to run, you should start off slow and easy and gradually increase. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. With that in mind, start off slow and then gradually increase.

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With obesity and disease increasing dramatically, many fitness experts are recommending walking for weight loss and fitness. Some are even going so far as saying that walking is the best way to burn fat and lose weight.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

That way you will shock your body and deliver good results for a long time. If you're a beginner and that's your first time working out it makes no sense to start out strong and burn yourself out. Give your body a chance to adjust and then take it from there.

As time passes you will increase the time you walk, then as that progresses well you will add another day or two. It's all about progress and how your body reacts. Knowing that, it's time to move over to our set routine.


Workout:
How many days per week should one walk? For how long? What should the intensity be like? Etc.

Here is a simple routine that people can use. Beginners are for people that are overweight and running is a challenge to, while Intermediate is for people with rehab and senior citizens. Advanced is a good walking program to use as cardio to cut body fat off while having a low impact cardio and enjoying the outside world.

Beginners:

  • Monday - Brisk Walk, Low Intensity 20 minutes
  • Tuesday - OFF
  • Wednesday - Brisk Walk, Low Intensity 20 minutes
  • Thursday - OFF
  • Friday - Brisk Walk, Low Intensity 20 minutes
  • Saturday - OFF
  • Sunday - Brisk Walk, Low Intensity 30 minutes
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Beginners Routine.

Intermediate:

Advanced:

  • Monday- Walk, Jogging Pace, 30 minutes
  • Tuesday- Walk, Jogging Pace, 30 minutes
  • Wednesday- Walk, Medium Intensity, 30 minutes
  • Thursday- Walk, Jogging Pace, 30 minutes
  • Friday- Walk, Jogging Pace, 30 minutes
  • Saturday- OFF
  • Sunday- Walk, Medium Intensity, 30 minutes
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Advanced Routine.


Goals:
What kinds of goals can one set for walking?

Walking is great low impact cardio. Don't think that since you're taking a walk you won't be able to lose fat. A calorie burned, is a calorie burned. It doesn't matter as long as you are out and active you are making a healthy lifestyle.

I have met people with serious health conditions, and they decided to make a change in their life and started off by walking because they couldn't run. I respect that. Now they are in the gym a few days a week maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

You can start off by setting a small goal of loosing weight. Let's say a 5lb loss. Start one of the workouts depending on your fitness level and go at it! Loosing weight can be easy and fun. Bring some music with you, or bring your dog.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL

goals
What Is Your Goal?
Is Your Goal Not Listed? Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

It will be fun, time will pass by fast and you will enjoy the outdoors while improving yourself. If you think loosing fat is not one of your main goals then you can set many more depending on what you want.

Enjoying the outdoors and relieving stress can serve as a perfect goal for walking. Most people have a stressful life and can't live right. Too much work, too much responsibilities can set off a man. Everyone has their breaking point, and having too much work could be bad for you.

Make a goal if walking using the Intermediate program, and soon your stress will be gone. Trust me, I've tested that. I had a point in my life that I was down, and taking walks and enjoying the park was a perfect stress relief and helped me get out of a dark spot in my life.


Bonus Question:
What are some of the benefits of walking, and how does it compare to other forms of cardio?

Walking improves your cardio vascular. It helps boost your metabolism and helps you get through stressful times. It burns calories and is a low impact workout. If you suffer from joint problems or are coming out of an injury you can definitely benefit from walking.

If you have stressful problems you can benefit from walking. Enjoying a nice walk and getting from fresh oxygen is another benefit. Also you can have fun and do a chore by walking your dog. It's an overall workout where you benefit in many, many ways.

Compared to running, walking is pretty much the same. The only bad thing is that it burns less calories at a certain rate. So if you're trying to cut a lot of calories a jog would be better. The pro's of walking are that it's low impact and it's more enjoyable since you're taking a stroll and have the time to look around.

Enjoy the trees, look at the dogs, and the scenery (alright look at the chicks jogging around you). Most importantly you will have fun and improve. I hope that this program starts you on the right track to a fitness life.

Good Luck!

Bibliography:

  1. Walking The Walk & Talking The Talk!
  2. The Importance Of Cardio!
  3. Cardio For Bodybuilders!
  4. Cardio In The Mourning!

RELATED POLL
Do You Use Walking As A Form Of Cardio?

Yes, It Works Great!
No, It Isn't Intense Enough.
No, But I'll Try It.


Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"


Comeback2006

Pro's

  • Interesting program and some good insights.

Con's

  • Not enough for an article. Some simple spelling errors.
  • Comments: This appears to be the work of a writer well versed in the subject. Writing an article is often compared to telling a story. For transmitting information in a compact format, this style of writing is great. For telling a story, a more conversational style might help.


themurder2005

Pro's

  • Writer made a good effort at conforming to the outline.

Con's

  • Grammar, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure, and content were not suitable for a published article.
  • Comments: A good deal of work is needed here. On the positive side the writer followed rule number one: "Write the words and send them to somebody who will publish them."

    A good start for the next topic would be to read the publisher's web site and pay attention to what they are already publishing. Concentrate on content length, style, level of vocabulary and technical depth of information.

    Above all, remember that writing is a skill. Nobody ever became a good body builder or powerlifter by giving up after a bad day at the gym or on the stage. Keep at it.


coach68

Pro's

  • Routine is easy to understand.

Con's

  • Nowhere near enough content for an article.
  • Comments: We still need to see enough content to engage the reader and give them reward for their time and effort. This submission may have made a great sidebar, but was short for "legs of it's own."


BiologyBabe

Pro's

  • Nice routine and section on stretching.

Con's

  • Did not conform to outline, tortured paragraph structure, short on content.
  • Comments: Opening paragraph is a reader's nightmare. Switching gears like on trucker taking a grade from a dead stop is not a generally accepted method of bringing a reader into your world. Following the outline and reading Strunk's elements of style may help this writer in future efforts.


bitterplacebo

Pro's

  • Generally well crafted and coherent. Good job of conforming to outline..

Con's

  • Unfortunately this entry met some tough competition.
  • Comments: A capable effort that did not have enough flair to out the competition. Reading the piece was pleasant enough, but not enough originality came through. When your submission is one of many, it must stand out.

    Reading the winning articles will almost certainly help one formulate their own winning style. What works for one writer does not always work for another. Observing how another writer forms their style will help you form your own with enough practice.


ho_124

Pro's

  • Great job of fulfilling outline requirements. Informative reading and enough content for a good article..

Con's

  • Generally well written with some minor structure issues.
  • Comments: This young contributor continues to improve and let us know that he will be around for a while. An excellent command of the territory and a great conversational style was hurt by run on paragraphs.

    Try reading the work out loud as if telling the tale to a close friend. When you pause between sentences for effect, this is a strong clue to form another paragraph. Alternatively, reading Strunk's elements of style (www.bartleby.com) gives some more definitive guidelines for structure.


How Can One Create A Walking Workout?

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