Walking is a popular aerobic activity. It is easy to do,
you don't need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. To get
aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly—fast enough to make your
pulse and breathing increase, but not so fast that you
can't talk comfortably.
Some people start by walking daily during
lunch or after work. Others start more gradually, with a 10- to 30-minute walk
every other day. You can add up exercise time over the course of a day or week.
Walking 10 minutes, 3 times a day is roughly equivalent to walking 30 minutes,
once a day. Build up your walking routine bit by bit, and aim for at least 2½
hours a week of
Increasing your walking
You can increase your walking in simple ways.
These suggestions can get you started, and you can probably think of more
Add a few extra steps to your daily activities:
Park farther than usual from your workplace (or
get off the bus or subway before your stop).
Take the stairs rather
than the elevator for one or two floors.
Take a lap around the
outside of the grocery store before going in.
Walk instead of drive for short trips. Examples may include
A place for lunch.
A nearby store for small
Find a new area to walk in. Allow yourself some extra time in
case this walk takes longer than your usual route. Because new areas may pose
some safety concerns, try a new area only during daylight, and choose
well-populated areas, such as:
Around your neighborhood. See some places you
rarely see from your car. Meet some neighbors.
Around a whole park.
Try pathless areas.
Walk at various times of day. Use "transition times" (times
between activities when you don't have to be anywhere) to get out and walk,
After work, when you usually might sit in front
of the television.
First thing in the morning. See a part of the
day you usually might miss.
During your lunch break. Ask a coworker
to join you for a walk.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.