Any time of day is a great time to walk. I have walked in the morning, afternoon, and night. It’s a good way to start the day and energize yourself, and a good way to process your thoughts at the end of the day.
A week walking plan helps you create a habit so that you can reap the benefits of consistent exercise. A walking plan will provide you with a framework to build a healthy lifestyle. Anything we repeat over and over consistently helps us create patterns that can last a lifetime.
I used to walk each week fairly consistently before the pandemic. I enjoyed the time to get out in the evening after dinner and think about things, relax, and listen to a podcast or some music. I noticed after a couple of weeks that I enjoyed my experience more and more. I felt better the longer I continued.
We can each create goals to write down that will help us establish an action plan to achieve the goals we’ve set. The hardest part is deciding how much time and energy we are willing to set aside to make the changes in our daily routine.
I wrote an article about exercise motivation that might be helpful to read before getting started. (See Article Here) We can learn to get and stay motivated so we can stick to the plans we make. Then we will see the result slowly start to manifest over time.
What goal should I set?
It’s best to set at least one short-term reachable goal and at least one long-term hopefully reachable goal. Your goals should match what you feel you can realistically achieve. The more specific the better.
Think about a goal you really want and set a short-term goal that can take you at least one step toward your ultimate goal.
Taking small steps toward bigger goals will help you stay motivated and help you see your progress better.
Examples of short term goals:
- I will walk around the block once, twice a week.
- I will walk for 5 minutes after dinner each evening.
- I will fast-walk for one minute each time I go walking.
- I will get ready (put on shoes and clothing necessary) to walk each day to establish a pattern for 4 weeks, even if I only have time to go out for one minute.
- I will walk the dog daily for 10 minutes in the morning.
Examples of long term goals:
- I will walk three times a week for a year.
- I will walk each day until I lose 5 pounds.
- I will walk in minimalist shoes for 6 months to develop stronger foot muscles.
- I will walk Monday thru Friday each week until I start to sleep more soundly.
- I will walk/run and slowly build up the stamina to transition to only running.
Write Down Your Goals and Create a Plan
Once you’ve established what your goals are, get a notebook or planner and write down your specific goals. The clearer you are about what you want the better you can set short-term goals to achieve your long-term goals.
After you’ve written down at least one long-term and one short-term goal, it’s time to use your planner to write down which days and times you will walk for the first week.
You may want to plan far into the future, but it’s better to start with one week. Then you can evaluate how things went each day and what you might need to change for next week’s plan.
After a week of planning and walking, it’s a good idea to reaffirm your goals or change them if your thoughts have changed about what you want.
It’s important to revisit your goals weekly if not more to confirm that these are the goal you want and to look at how much progress you’ve made. Equally important is to value the progress you’ve made, even if you feel you’ll never reach your long goals at the moment.
Checking off each short-term goal and the walking plans you’ve followed through on is important to do daily or at least weekly. If you didn’t or couldn’t accomplish some of your plans, recognize what you did accomplish. Each small step is bringing you closer to your big goal, so try to feel good about what you’ve done so you don’t feel like giving up.
If you need a planner to get started click the DOWNLOAD button below to get a copy of this weekly walking planner shown below.
Make Walking a Habit
Sometimes it’s more important to get into a habit than it is to complete your short and long-term goals. Repetition is how most successful people end up accomplishing their goals. The more we repeat and make the process a habit, the better our chance of reaching our goal will be.
Many people don’t have the internal drive to motivate themselves to accomplish mundane or difficult activities for weeks, months, and years. That’s where habits come into play. We can establish a pattern of daily walking even if we only get out for part of the time we had planned.
This is still a victory when we only finish part of our daily plan because we stuck with repeating our daily walk even if we only did it for a short walk.
How To Start a Walking Habit
- Consider your established daily habits. Do you get up at the same time every day? Do you eat dinner at the same time each day? Find a time slot in your day where you can consistently walk because your plans never change at that time of the day.
- At least get dress. For some, the hardest part of going to the gym is getting there. Habits tend to be the same. Our minds may resist doing something new, so the easier you can make it, the more likely you will keep your commitment at the beginning. Get dressed and at least show up to walk.
- Check off your planner. After you finish your habit, make sure to check off that you accomplished your plan for the day. You may not have had time to complete the full walk you wanted to, but you did complete the repetition of your habit.
- Get up even if you’re tired. Resting 20 minutes during the day can help revitalize you if you’re getting up early to take your walks. Remind yourself that you will have time later to rest, but now all I need to do is get up and get started.
- Don’t Make it Hard. Sometimes we make exercise too difficult to do consistently. We work really hard on one day and then are achy the rest of the week. Habits need to easy enough to be repeated often. We are training our brain before our body to get used to a routine.
- Share your thoughts. To reinforce your habit write down what happened in a journal or talk to a friend. Try to find the things that you enjoyed about your walking and write or talk about those often.
- If you miss a day, say it’s OK. Sometimes we lose momentum or events occur that take us away from our habit. We can say, that’s OK I’ll just keep going tomorrow. The easier you make it to get back into your habit the better you will be at keeping your habit going.
If you’ve begun to establish a habit of walking often, it should get easier and easier to do without any mental blocks trying to stop you. We are creatures of habit and most people enjoy structure and stability. Our walking can give us a positive habit that will enhance our lives.
Three Weekly Walking Plans
The first walking plan is for those who want to lose weight. This means you will need to exert more effort on your walks in order to help your body burn more calories consistently. There are many ways to burn calories, and this plan only included a few.
You’ll need to increase the time walking per day to burn more calories. Expect better results as you change your diet and walk up to 60 minutes a day.
- Monday – Wednesday – Friday – Sunday – On these days your goal is to push yourself to walk quickly at least half of the time. You want to make it difficult to talk and walk at the same time. Then you know your getting your heart rate up high enough to start burning more calories and ramp up your metabolism.
- Drink plenty of water because this helps with hydration, your joints, and your metabolism.
- Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday – On these days you want to work on strengthening your muscles. You can do this by hiking or walking up hills to strengthen your legs and by using dumbbells or weighted armbands to strengthen the muscles in your arms. More muscle can help increase energy burned.
- Continue to drink water.
Heart health is important for everyone. Just moving your body more each day will help prevent many problems from occurring later down the line. This plan is to help those looking to improve their heart health over time.
- Monday thru Sunday – Each day of the week you want to get moving consistently for at least 30 minutes each day. Increasing your speed will help you get your heart rate up to a moderate level, which is recommended by the American Heart Association.
- Getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week can help us stay heart-healthy, which means at least 5 days out of 7 our goal should include moderate exercise. Continue to drink plenty of water to help the heart function efficiently.
This is a leg and foot health plan. We all tend to wear shoes whenever we go out. Shoes tend to prevent muscles from functioning normally. Many people have weak foot muscles and sometimes week leg muscles.
In order to fully activate our foot muscles, we need to walk barefoot or in minimalist shoes. This will help activate some of the muscles in our ankle and leg as well.
If you’ve never worn minimalist shoes while walking, you need to transition to them over time. Think about anywhere from 1 – 6 months to transition to minimalist shoes depending on your situation.
- Monday – Wednesday – Friday – On these days you would wear your normal walking shoes when you go out for your daily walk for about 30 minutes.
- Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday – On these days you would adjust the time you walk until your feet feel and legs feel normal. Try walking half the time you would normally walk in your minimalist shoes for the first week. Adjust your time in your minimalist shoes depending on how your feet feel.
- Sunday – It’s a good idea to rest your feet and legs at least one day out of the week. Your muscles can recover so you’re ready for the next week.
When I go walking near my house, I enjoy the time I have to get out of the house and focus on clearing my mind and feeling active. I have noticed the benefits of consistently walking for many months in a row. I feel better both physically and emotionally.
You can achieve many of your exercise goals just by walking daily. I think choosing some good shoes and trying to enjoy yourself as you walk are two of the most important part of walking. Which goals do you want to achieve with your walking? Best wishes for success with all of your walking goals.
Thanks for visiting Helpshoe.com and happy walking.