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Why adding walking to your routine can increase your fitness gains

You may struggle to be active due to time constraints, may not feel you have the fitness ability to start your journey or have just had a newborn so your hands are tied. Try adding walking to your routine to increase your daily calorie burn and start your fitness journey today.

What are the benefits of walking? And, more specifically, a brisk walk?

For me walking is the most underrated form of exercise out there! First and foremost it’s what the bodies are designed to do. Every since creation humans have walked! It’s a great form of cardio and a way to burn extra calories if you’re looking to lose weight. Not only this it’s very low impact so if you suffer from any ankle, knee or hip issues it should be a staple of your exercise routine.

If I want to increase my walking speed, where should I begin?

For me it’s all about goal setting. For example you want to walk 4km in an hour. Start off by timing how long it takes you to walk 4km then to bring that time you can use training methods such as intervals or find some inclines/ hills that you use to challenge your walking speed.

What are good indicators that I've increased my speed? Heavier breathing, arms swinging etc.?

If you’re increasing your walking speed from what you’re used to a great indicator is your breath. The fastest you walk the higher your heart rate will go and the more breathless you will become. Another good indicator is sweat. Sweat is byproduct of exercise. As the body increased in temperature you will sweat more indicator you are either walking faster or Working harder for example walking up a steep hill.

Can you make a plan for our readers to increase their speed over four weeks?

So if you’ve got a smart watch great this will allow you to track distance, speed and time. If not you can download apps like Strava onto your phone to help track your fitness. Like I said previously select you distance goal that you have in mind and walk and record it. That’s your base level and starting point that you can then test against at the end of the 4 weeks.

You’ve got your time and average speed now it’s time to to start training

Make sure you record each walk with your smart watch or app to be able to see your progressions as you go. If on any day you a feeling exhausted then I’d suggest supplementing an additional rest day in to avoid the risk of injury or burn out.

The easy walks can count as any kind of walking. For example going to the shops and walking around or simply on your commute to work. The brisk walks need to be a focussed walk where you are able to walk for the whole duration and a higher speed without having to stop.

Week 1

  • Monday: 3 x 10-min walks, easy pace. This can be walking to shops. Walking to the tube, anything.

  • Tuesday: 30-min walk, brisk take your dog or a friend to keep it social.

  • Wednesday: 30-min walk, easy pace

  • Thursday: 30-min walk, easy pace

  • Friday: 30-min walk, brisk

  • Saturday: 2 x 30-min walks, easy pace

  • Sunday: Rest

Week 2

  • Monday: 3 x 20-min walks, easy pace

  • Tuesday: 30-min walk, brisk + 1 x 15-min walk, easy pace

  • Wednesday: 35-min walk, easy pace

  • Thursday: 35-min walk, easy pace

  • Friday: 30-min walk, brisk

  • Saturday: 2 x 40-min walks, easy pace second walk you will need to find some inclines on your walk to increase the intensity without increase walking speed.

  • Sunday: Rest

Week 3

  • Monday: 4 x 15-min walks, easy pace

  • Tuesday: 30-min walk, brisk. Find a route that has some inclines and add them into your walk. Your heart rate will elevate and work your cardiovascular system more.

  • Wednesday: 40-min walk, easy pace

  • Thursday: 40-min walk, easy pace

  • Friday: 30-min walk, brisk

  • Saturday: 2 x 45-min walks, easy pace

  • Sunday: Rest

Week 4

  • Monday: 4 x 20-min walks, easy pace

  • Tuesday: 40-min walk, brisk + 1 x 30-min walk, easy pace

  • Wednesday: 2 x 30-min walks, brisk

  • Thursday: 2 x 30-min walks, brisk

  • Friday: Rest

  • Saturday: Test day. Get ready to try your original distance and see how much you can beat your time by!

  • Sunday: Rest

Help and Advice

If you’re looking for any advice on the above blog or are looking for guidance and motivation through online coaching please drop me an email on to find out more information on how we can help you. Just like we’re helping hundred’s of other individuals become a fitter, healthier version of themselves. Alternatively go to this link to set up a consultation call.

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