is one of the easiest ways to get the exercise you need to stay healthy.
recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate activity (such as brisk walking, brisk
cycling, or yard work) a week.footnote 1 It's fine to walk
in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
worried about how brisk walking might affect your health, talk with your doctor before
you start a walking program.
Start with a short-term goal. For example, walk
for 5 or 10 minutes every day. Or increase your number of steps by 300 to 500 each
After you've made walking a habit, set a longer-term goal. You may want
to set a goal of walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day or work up to 10,000
steps a day. You can try to do this 5 days a week or more.
You can use a phone
app or wear a pedometer to track your steps each day.
To stay motivated, find
a walking partner, such as a family member, friend, or coworker. Daily dog walks are
also a great way to keep up your walking routine.
How can you make a walking program
part of your life?
Think of walking as an easy way to burn calories and stay
fit while you go about your daily routine. You can make walking an important part
of your life by getting friends and family to join you and by finding new ways to
put steps in your day.
Walk with others
family members, friends, and coworkers to join you. Set goals together.
a walking group or club.
Set a goal to take part in an organized fitness walk.
a dog every day.
Plan family outings around walks together. Being physically
active with kids sets an example they'll follow as they grow older.
Add steps whenever you can
Schedule walks on your daily calendar.
a phone app or buy a pedometer. They count how many steps you take. The first time
you use it, count how many steps you normally take in a day. Track your activity every
day, and set a goal for increasing the number of steps each day. At first, try to
add 300 to 500 steps to your day. Then work toward 2,000 more steps a day. A good
long-term goal is to get 10,000 steps a day.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical
Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC:
U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary
Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal
Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist
Medical ReviewerElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal
U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
(ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
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