Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

Starting a Walking Program

Two men walking down stairs.Use the following ideas to start your own walking program.

  • Wear the pedometer for a few days and see how many steps you average.
  • Set a daily goal and work (or walk) up to it. A good goal is to increase your average daily steps gradually so that you get used to the increased distance. Recommendations vary on how fast to increase steps. Anywhere from 500-2,000 steps a week is reasonable.
  • Record your daily steps in a log or notebook.

There are many ways to increase your daily steps:

  • Choose a more distant parking place
  • Take the stairs
  • Walk over to a friend's dorm room or a colleague's office instead of using the phone or e-mail
  • Walk the dog
  • Walk with a friend each day

Find ways to walk even during the winter months or other inclement weather.

  • Walking in the malls
  • Local school track or fitness center
  • 3-5min "walk breaks" during study time/work/etc

If you experience pain or discomfort, check with your primary care provider.

Remember, it takes about six months to "lock-in" a new behavior. Think of your walking program as a permanent change in your behavior. If you maintain your walking program for a minimum of six months, you are much more likely to maintain this change long-term.

More expert recommendations for physical fitness

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