Time to move!
Below is a 10-week walking-for-weight-loss programme that I’ve designed for people in good health who are looking to shift those unwanted kilos. It focuses on getting you into a good routine where walking becomes a daily habit and then building on that to
Weeks 1 & 2
Your goal for the first two weeks is to build a routine and start to make walking part of your day most days.
Walk for 30 minutes five days this week. These walks should be brisk – be careful not to slip into turtle mode!
Weeks 3 & 4
To increase the duration of your walks.
For three days each week, walk for 45 minutes at a time. For two days each week, schedule in one-hour walks.
Weeks 5 & 6
To up your movement by incorporating incidental exercise.
Five days each week, complete an hour-long walk, and in addition to these, choose three days when you’ll get off the bus/train a couple of stops early or park your car a 30-minute walk away from your work or other destination.
To increase the intensity by incorporating stairs/inclines and some resistance exercises.
Three days each week, complete an hour-long walk followed by two sets of 10 body-weight squats, push-ups and step knee drives on each leg (see below). Two days each week, do a 45-minute walk that includes three flights of 50 stairs, or three inclines of at least 10 degrees for a minimum distance of 30 metres (for example, a hill or a footpath on an obvious incline). In addition, include five incidental walks of 20 minutes minimum each week.
Step knee drives:
Place one foot on a step, then with your back straight and chest lifted, drive the knee of the other leg up to waist height as you straighten the leg on the step. Lower the leg back down to the starting position and repeat.
Weeks 9 & 10
To challenge your cardiovascular fitness and improve your muscle strength through increased volume and incorporating intervals and resistance exercises. This is best carried out in a circuitstyle set-up, so it’s a good idea to find at least one route that takes about 20 minutes to walk and includes a flight of stairs or a hill.
Do five one-hour walks each week. Every 20 minutes during these walks, do 10 body-weight squats, 10 push-ups and 10 step knee drives on each leg, and walk up at least one incline. As well as these walks, do five incidental walks (a minimum 30 minutes each) and an additional ‘adventure’ walk of your choice (for example, go for a hike, compete an organised walking event, or buy or borrow a pedometer or download a step tracker on your phone and aim to complete 15,000 steps).