Walking is one of the best ways to stay active and lose weight. If you’re looking for a simple way to add some exercise into your daily routine, walking is an excellent choice. It’s also convenient: you can do it anywhere, at any time of day or night, and you don’t need any fancy equipment or special skills to start.

But even though walking is simple, it’s not easy. In fact, if you’re going to make your walks count, then you’ll need to put in some effort. That’s where this guide comes in! Here’s how to get started with walking for weight loss—and keep going until it becomes a habit.

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Home Workout 15 Minute Walking Workout For Weight Loss

As a society, we’ve become more sedentary as jobs increasingly require people to sit in front of a computer most of the day.

While technology has made our lives easier in many ways, it’s part of the reason for widespread obesity, heart disease, and other causes of early death.

Even if you eat well and maintain a healthy weight, you automatically have an increased health risk if your job requires you to sit at a desk.

So what’s the solution? It’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.

Walking: A near-perfect exercise

New exercise trends can be fun and exciting, but the four million-year-old one has so many benefits that health experts across the globe recommend it. Walking requires no special skills, has a low risk of injury, is convenient, appropriate for all ages, and it’s free!

You can even get paid to walk through various apps. The British Journal of Sports Medicine’s special edition, dedicated exclusively to walking, concluded that regular, brisk walks contribute to a long and healthy life.

11 health benefits of 15-minute daily walks

Incorporating regular 15-minute brisk walks into your life brings a long list of rewards.

There’s no shortage of scientific evidence that illustrates the physical and mental benefits of this seemingly simple form of exercise.

1. Jumpstart a more active lifestyle

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 15 percent of American adults are physically inactive. 

Walking for 15 minutes is an achievable goal that people can easily incorporate into their life and use as a springboard to a more active lifestyle. 

For people who don’t or rarely exercise, regular walks can improve resting blood pressure, the body’s management of dietary fat, and increase insulin sensitivity.

2. Improve your fitness

So, based on an evaluation of published studies, a total of seventy to ninety minutes of brisk walking a week can actually improve your fitness and make everyday activities easier.

If you’re wondering how fast you should be walking, it’s as easy as walking to the beat of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees or “‘I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.

3. Better cardiovascular health

Sitting at a desk all day restricts blood flow to your legs, increasing heart attack and stroke risk factors. Did you know that regular 15-minute walks can actually help safeguard your arteries?

A study of more than 50,000 people found that regular walks lead to a lower risk of heart disease and early death.

4. Ease joint pain

If you experience pain in your joints, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. It turns out that several studies prove that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, especially in the knees and hips.

Walking activates the body’s own joint protection by lubricating joints and strengthening the supportive muscles.

5. Relieve and prevent lower back pain

Walking is also one of the most overlooked ways to relieve current back pain and help prevent future flair-ups. That’s because this simple exercise can eliminate some of the adverse effects of sitting, while at the same time stretching out the tight muscles and strengthening the weak muscles that cause lower back pain.

“Walking, even for short periods of time, is very effective at reducing and even eliminating lower back pain. Tight iliopsoas muscles are a common cause of lower back pain and just getting up from a seated position and beginning to walk lengthens these muscles,” says Dr. Peter J. Scordilis, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician at Scordilis Family Chiropractic. Continuing to walk activates your gluteal and lower core muscles, taking stress off the QL muscle, another source of back pain.”

6. Advance brain health

While it’s well known that movement is good for the body, it’s also good for the brain. Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research, explores this idea in his latest book, “In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration.” 

He writes that “aerobic exercise supports the widespread production of key molecules that act to keep the brain in good working condition.”

He’s not talking about going to the gym for one hour and then returning to a sedentary lifestyle. 

He says, “Our bodies and brains are designed for and need lots of regular movement throughout the course of the day. Walking is an easy solution our brains adore and benefit from. Regular, reliable, rhythmic, up-tempo walking throughout the day stimulates the production of molecules promoting brain health.”

7. Reduce anxiety and depression

The Royal College of Psychiatrists sums it up nicely when stating that, in a broad sense, the less you do, the more likely you’ll have a poor mood, depression, or tension.  Keeping active lessens the chance you’ll be depressed, anxious, tense, or generally feel bad about yourself.

Regular walks, especially outdoor ones, bring real improvements in these areas.  Many scientific studies show that walking can help prevent or help treat anxiety and depression, lifting your overall mood.

8. A creative boost

Over a hundred years ago, Nietzsche wrote, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking,” and studies have proved it true.

Stanford University researchers recommend that you brainstorm during a 15 to 20-minute walk, as you’ll generate twice as many ideas as sitting at your desk.

So if you need to give your ideas legs, walking can boost creative ideation both in real-time and shortly after.

9. Get a better night’s sleep

Michael Mosley, M.D., recommends morning walks for their numerous benefits.  It’s a great way to start your day, boost your mood, and prime your body for a good night’s rest. On his podcast, he said, “Light brings your body clock forward. 

“So in the evening, when you want to go to sleep, your body is ready for it. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, it could be because you’re not getting enough bright light in the morning.”

10. Fight off sweet cravings

Who knew that a 15-minute walk could also help tame a sweet tooth? Two published studies found that short, brisk walks can curb chocolate cravings and reduce the amount of chocolate eaten in stressful situations.

The results showed that if you tend to grab other types of sugary snacks, it reduces sweet cravings beyond just chocolate.

11. Healthier communities

Whether you’re walking at work on your lunch break, walking around your block, or in a local park, the chances of social interaction are heightened, which benefits everyone.

Lately, we’ve learned firsthand the importance of social, well-connected groups.  Studies show that even the short interactions that happen when people are out walking help contribute to happier and healthier communities.

Walking Workout Schedule for Weight Loss

When you are walking to lose weight, following a workout schedule will help you be consistent and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. But your walking workout doesn’t have to be the same old grind every day. To reduce boredom and burnout, it can be helpful to participate in different types of walking workouts during the week while also giving your body adequate rest and recovery.

Benefits of a Walking Workout Plan

A well-designed walking schedule can help you achieve the recommendations for aerobic activity and strength training suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Heart Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for optimal health and weight loss.1

To gain health benefits, major health organizations recommend 150–300 minutes minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. You can also combine moderate and vigorous aerobic activity to reach this goal. Strength training at least two times per week is also recommended.2

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds that more moderate-intensity physical activity (beyond 300 minutes per week) may offer additional health benefits.

So what benefits might you gain with these levels of physical activity? Reaching these goals is associated with improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and an improved quality of life. It is also associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases.

If your intention is weight loss, reaching these guidelines can help to reduce the rate of weight gain, and help with weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake. And lastly, these physical activity guidelines can help you to prevent weight regain once you’ve reached your goal.2

Health and Weight Loss Walking Plan

Whether you are walking for weight loss, weight maintenance, or improved health, you can use this schedule to reach your goals. Modify the workout days as needed. For instance, If you know that Thursdays tend to be hectic, then you might want to schedule your long walking workout on another day. If you choose to skip a day, that’s okay. The schedule helps you to pick up right where you left off.

If you are new to walking, it is best to build up your walking time gradually before using this schedule. If you have been walking for less than 30 minutes at a time, start with a 10-minute or 20-minute walk to see how you do. Repeat that walk daily and add a couple of minutes of walking time to it after the first week. Continue with this pattern to improve your endurance until you are ready to use the schedule below.


This plan is best for those who enjoy longer walks. The time listed is at your target heart rate and pace, after warming up. You can break up the long walks into two shorter walks if your schedule doesn’t allow you enough time for one long walk in a day.

Sample Daily Walking Schedule

  • Sunday: Long walking workout for 60 minutes at a brisk pace
  • Monday: Recovery day with no walking workout, but you can enjoy easy activity
  • Tuesday: Short walking workout for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, plus a strength training workout
  • Wednesday: Short walking workout for 30 minutes at a brisk pace
  • Thursday: Long walking workout for 60 minutes at a brisk pace
  • Friday: Short walking workout for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, plus a strength training workout.
  • Saturday: Long easy walking day for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, then 30 to 90 more minutes at an easy pace.

Workout Details

For many of your workouts, you’ll be walking at a brisk pace. A brisk pace is one where you are breathing harder than usual and your heart rate is at 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse (by hand or using an app), using a fitness tracker that has heart rate detection, or wearing a heart rate monitor.

Short Walking Workout

  • Warm up at an easy pace for three to five minutes.
  • Speed up to a brisk walk at the target pace for 30 minutes.
  • Slow to an easy pace for three to five minutes.
  • You may want to do a gentle stretching routine after your warm-up or after you finish your walk.

Very​ Short Walking Workout

If you don’t have time for a sustained walk, find the time to take two to four 15-minute walks. Your time at a brisk pace for the day should add up to at least 30 minutes.

  • Warm up at an easy pace for one to three minutes.
  • Speed up to a brisk pace for at least 10 minutes.
  • Slow to an easy pace for one to three minutes.

Long Walking Workout

  • Warm up for five minutes at an easy pace.
  • Walk at a brisk walking pace for 60 minutes.
  • Slow to an easy pace for five minutes.

Long Easy Walking Workout

You can spice up this workout by joining in a local charity walk or joining a walking group or club for their workouts.

  • Warm up for five minutes at an easy pace.
  • Walk at the target brisk walking pace for 30 minutes.
  • Slow to an easy pace for an additional 30 to 90 minutes.

Recovery Day

Your body needs rest and recovery to recharge and rebuild. In fact, some researchers even refer to recovery days as “windows of opportunity” when you can take advantage of the body’s adaptation to exercise by optimizing rest and fueling the body with a balance of nutrients (fats, carbohydrates, and protein).3

There are different ways to do recovery. Some people prefer a full rest day. That is, they take a complete break from exercise and enjoy other activities, like time with family and friends. Other people prefer active recovery, where you might participate in some type of physical activity but at an intensity level that feels leisurely and easy. For instance, on your day off, you may want to enjoy an easy stroll, a fun bike ride, or a scenic hike.

Your body will tell you if you should take a complete break from exercise or if you have the energy to participate in light movement. Your body may also tell you that you need more than one recovery day.

For example, on the schedule listed above, Friday could be used as a recovery day if you feel that your body needs it. But if you take Friday off, move the second strength training workout to Thursday so that you still meet activity guidelines provided by HHS.

If you feel like you need more than two recovery days each week, you might be working too hard. If this happens, make sure that you check your heart rate when walking to be sure you are not overdoing it. Drop back to 50% or less of your target heart rate and cut back on the number of long days in preference for short days.

Strength Training

Strength training will help you to improve muscular, strength, power, and endurance. Some strength workouts, such as those that include functional exercises, can also help you to improve your balance and coordination. All of these benefits help you to move through activities of daily living with greater ease. Strength training also helps us to age better.4

If training with weights is new to you, don’t worry. There is no need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment. You can do simple body weight exercises at home to get stronger and fitter. For instance, clear a space in your living room and do 10-15 reps of these exercises:

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Plank
  • Wall Sit
  • Triceps Dips

If you are walking to lose weight, adding strength training to your schedule can help you reach your healthy weight goal. Research suggests that participating in a resistance training program helps to increase lean body weight and when combined with a dietary intervention also helps to reduce body fat.

15 Minute Mile Walking

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to walk a mile? The duration of your mile, of course, depends on your average pace. But pace guidelines exist to give you a general idea of how long it takes for an average person to walk a mile.

Walking is a natural form of movement for humans as we are the only habitually bipedal primates—meaning that we stand upright on two feet. From that upright position, we are able to walk and run. It makes sense, then, that walking is one of the most popular types of exercise. There aren’t any special skills or equipment required. And walking is good for you, according to the American Heart Association, which concluded that brisk walking for 150 minutes a week can:

  • Boost cognitive function
  • Reduce disease risk
  • Lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Improve quality of life
  • Prevent weight gain

How Long Does It Take to Walk a Mile?

Aiming for a mile a day is a great way to incorporate more walking into your daily routine and to enjoy the benefits of being active. For beginners, a mile may seem like a long walk, but for most it’s an easily attainable goal.

Most people can expect to walk a mile in 15 to 22 minutes, according to data gathered in a 2019 study spanning five decades. The average walking pace is 2.5 to 4 mph, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Factors that affect the speed of your pace include physical fitness levels, the incline and your age.

Competitive walkers, for instance, can walk an 11-minute mile, according to a 2015 study on walking groups. These walkers are physically fit and able to maintain a fast pace for one mile. How long should it take to walk a mile, fast? Between 11 and 15 minutes, ideally.

If you walk at a more relaxed pace, are new to fitness or are older, your average mile time may be closer to 20 minutes. But your average speed can be improved with practice.

How Much Should You Walk Per Day?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or about 20 minutes per day. Depending on your pace, this could mean walking at least one mile per day.

How to Increase Your Walking Pace

As with any type of exercise, to get better, you’ve got to build stamina. How do you build stamina? You practise. The more you train your body, the better it performs.

To increase your walking pace, you first need to track your progress. For beginners, walking a mile might take more than 22 minutes. Beginners may need to stop and start, or adjust their pace to catch their breath. Over time, your fitness levels will improve and your one-mile time will decrease.

You can calculate your walking pace by using a pedometer or app that tracks step cadence. Watch to see how your speed increases.

Another helpful way to track your progress is to monitor your perceived exertion, which is an indication of your heart rate. As your heart rate increases, so does your breathing rate. It is harder to maintain a higher heart rate, so you may have to adjust your pace to catch your breath.

As your fitness level improves, you will have better cardiac output and aerobic capacity (your VO2 max). This means that you won’t get out of breath so easily and can maintain a faster pace for longer. As a result, your average one-mile pace will improve.

You can track your exertion by taking note of how you feel—how easily can you maintain a conversation during the exercise? Or by monitoring your heart rate.

To keep your data reporting accurate, try to walk the same terrain for the mile each time. Walking a steep or uneven terrain will take longer. You might calculate and track your pace by walking on a treadmill.

As your fitness level improves, so will your walking pace. Other recommendations to try: wear proper footwear, take shorter strides, use your arms for acceleration and engage your core. Taken together, these tweaks can push your mile faster.

How Long Should It Take to Walk a Mile?

How to Set a Walking Goal

Depending on your starting point, there are different walking goals you can work towards. Here are some example goals based on your starting point:

  • Beginner: Finish a mile without stopping.
  • Intermediate: Cut two minutes from your mile time.
  • Advanced: Maintain a walking pace of 4 mph, or a 15-minute mile for more than one mile.

Lifestyle changes can help too. For example, try walking to the coffee shop instead of driving, taking work calls while walking around the block or socialising on a walk rather than in a restaurant. The more you walk, the better your fitness levels get and the more stamina you build.

Once you progress and want to challenge yourself further, consider signing up for a charity walk or a local speed-walking group. For advanced walkers, this might culminate in signing up for a half-marathon.

So How Long Should It Take to Walk a Mile Fast?

It should take around 11 to 15 minutes to walk a mile fast. Your speed will depend on your fitness levels, gait, terrain, environment, age and other factors. The more you walk, the more your stamina, endurance and fitness levels will improve. As a result, so will your speed. Keep at it.

How Long Does it Take to Walk a Half-Marathon?

A common goal to work towards is walking a half-marathon. The distance of a half-marathon is 13.1 miles. If you maintain a brisk walking pace, you can expect to complete this in 3 to 4 hours, walking 13- to 15-minute miles.

To increase your stamina to be able to complete a half-marathon, build up your walking endurance by increasing the amount of miles walked in one training session. Aim for three miles per session, maintaining 13- to 15-minute miles.

As you near the date of your half-marathon, add in one longer walking day per week to test yourself. Increase this by two miles every other week until you meet your 13.1-mile target in one go.

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