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The 20-Minute Beginner Interval Walk

Today, we’re going to mix things up with interval walking. That’s a fancy way of saying that you’ll be alternating one-minute bursts of fast walking with four minutes of moderate walking to recover, explains Michele Stanten, SilverSneakers fitness expert and author of Walk Off Weight.

Interval walks rev up your calorie burn and metabolism more than easier, steady-paced walking. They’re also a great way to gradually increase the intensity of your walking workouts.

couple walking on treadmill

For the fast interval, walk as if you’re late for a very important appointment, Stanten says, but don’t go so hard that you can’t use short phrases to communicate.

Remember: Safety first. If you’re walking outside and listening to our guided audio walk, keep the volume low or use only one earbud. If you’re on a treadmill at the gym, don’t forget to use the safety clip. If you start to feel nauseous or dizzy at any point, ease up or stop. And always drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.

Below is a preview of today’s walk that you can listen to in the player above or download at the link below. Use the step rate ranges in steps per minute (spm) and descriptions below to monitor your pace and intensity.

Warmup

Time: 0:00–3:00
Step Rate: 110–115 spm

Take a casual walk. Your arms can remain at your sides, and it’s easy to carry on a conversation.

Moderate Walk

Time: 3:00–5:00
Step Rate: 120–125 spm

Pick up the pace, like you’re late for a meeting. You should always be able to talk while you’re walking, but it’s getting more difficult at this pace.

Fast Walk

Time 5:00–6:00
Step Rate: 135–140 spm

Bend your arms to go faster. Take quick, short steps. Find a pace that’s challenging but one that you can maintain for a minute.

Moderate Walk

Time 6:00–10:00
Step Rate: 120–125 spm

Bring it back to a moderate pace, and catch your breath.

Fast Walk

Time: 10:00–11:00
Step Rate: 135–140 spm

Move those feet! This time, count your steps during this one-minute interval. Remember your number.

Moderate Walk

Time: 11:00–15:00
Step Rate: 120–125 spm

Again, bring it back to a moderate pace, and catch your breath.

Fast Walk

Time: 15:00–16:00
Step Rate: 135–140 spm

Get moving again! Count your steps, and try to take a few more than last time. Even just one or two more will do!

Moderate Walk

Time: 16:00–18:00
Step Rate: 120–125 spm

Slow down, and catch your breath.

Cooldown

Time: 18:00–20:00
Step Rate: 110–115 spm

Walk at a casual pace again. Your heart rate will slow, and you’ll be able to talk normally. After your walk, you may want to loosen up with these five stretches. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Note: The exercises in this workout may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.

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