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Fitness: Walking for Wellness

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get the exercise you need to stay healthy.

Experts recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate activity (such as brisk walking, brisk cycling, or yard work) a week.1 It's fine to walk in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

  • If you're 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 day.
  • 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 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.

what.gif What do you need to know to start a walking program?
why.gif Why walk for wellness?
how.gif How can you make a walking program part of your life?
where.gif Where to go from here

Citations

  1. 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
Specialist Medical ReviewerHeather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
Last RevisedFebruary 19, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 19, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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