Rev up your routine
Want to see results? Pick up the pace.
Interval routines to try
Interval walk for beginners
If you’re a walker who wants to increase your walking speed, try this routine at least three times a week:
- Start with a 5-minute warm up.
- Walk at your moderate pace for two minutes.
- Walk as quickly as you can for one minute.
- Follow up with your moderate pace for two minutes.
- Repeat as often as you can throughout your walk.
Over time, increase the amount of time you spend walking quickly, and decrease the amount of time you spend walking at your moderate pace.
Interval walk/run for more advanced walkers
If you’re a walker who wants to start running, try this routine at least three times a week. After an initial warm up, try these steps:
- Run for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds.
- Run for one minute, walk for one minute.
- Run for 1½ minutes, walk for 1½ minutes.
- Run for two minutes, walk for two minutes.
Work your way back down in reverse order, and before you know it, you’ve completed a 16-minute workout. Take some time to stretch afterwards. Stick with it and soon you’ll run longer distances.
Interval walk with hills
If you’re a walker who wants to melt about 30- percent more calories and tone your lower body, try walking hills. Find a moderately steep incline of at least 1/8 a mile, or on the treadmill, set the incline to at least 7 percent.
- Warm up at an easy pace on a flat surface for five minutes.
- Walk hard, uphill, for 30 seconds, walk back downhill.
- Walk hard, uphill, for one minute, walk back downhill.
Continue increasing the amount of time you spend walking uphill (alternating with downhill walking) throughout the course of your walk.
Interval walk/run/play with the whole family
Get the whole family involved. Come up with creative ways to make physical fitness fun and a time of play for the entire family. Find a safe place for the whole pack, and try these games:
- Turn your walk into a relay. Take turns running for 30 seconds, or take turns running to the next landmark, such as a lamppost, mailbox, or fire hydrant.
- Incorporate a little healthy competition. Who can be the first to make it to the jungle gym, the swing set, or the drinking fountain? Make it challenging but fun for all ages and fitness levels.
- Have a destination in mind. For example, maybe you walk to the park where the real games begin. Come up with a creative obstacle course on the playground equipment. This isn’t a time to sit back and relax – show your kids you can play, too.
- Time it. Bring along a watch or stopwatch and make it official. Write down your times and try to break your personal records.