8 Steps to Create a Walking Workout Plan

  1. Honor the "5-Minute Rule": Barring illness or injury, put on your workout clothes and get yourself out the door for at least five minutes. If after five minutes you can't or don't want to complete your workout, go home guilt-free. Tomorrow, try again.

  2. Progress at a modest pace. "More" is not necessarily better. Add 10 percent of your total weekly time or distance to the next week's schedule. Allow yourself to repeat the same schedule for consecutive weeks if that's what feels right to your body. This program can successfully progress at a slower rate (i.e.: 20 weeks rather than 12). Consistency is the key.

  3. Reward yourself. Every workout counts even if you have to try and try again to get into a regular routine. Give yourself a quarter for every workout and spend your monthly earnings on a movie or a new book.

  4. Attitude is everything. On tough days you have my permission to "whine" for an entire minute! But, then you have to switch to positive self-talk and to make obstacles into challenges! You'll be amazed at how this positive energy will spill over into the rest of your day.

The schedule above is a 12-week schedule for a true beginner. Give it a try. If you are more advanced, there are other schedules available, log on to to find a schedule that is right for you.

Things to Think About

How are you feeling immediately after your walk? The next morning? Throughout the next day? If you are experiencing problems, go back to the Eight Steps for Success and see if you can find an appropriate remedy.

Congratulations, you are now one of the elite class of 18 percent of Americans who exercise three or more days per week.

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Ellie Hodder, is Founder/Coach of Women Walk the Marathon?, A COED Program for Walkers of All Shapes and Sizes. For more info call 503-292-6929 or
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