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The 30-Minute Interval Walk: Level 1

With a week of walks behind you, it’s time to turbocharge your calorie burn. (And if you happen to be starting today, feel free to jump right in, or check out past workouts.)

Today, you’ll do the first of the three 30-minute interval walks that are part of the SilverSneakers Million Pound Challenge. This one is the easiest: You’ll alternate between one minute of fast walking and four minutes of moderate walking.

“During each fast interval, you’ll count your steps,” says Michele Stanten, SilverSneakers fitness expert and author of Walk Off Weight. “Then you’ll try to beat that number during the next fast interval.”

people on treadmills

For the fast intervals, walk as if you’re late for a very important appointment, Stanten says, but not so hard that you can’t speak in short phrases. During the moderate phases, you’ll want to relax and catch your breath, so that you’re ready for the next fast interval.

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. Warming up is important when you’re doing intervals, because your muscles need more blood and oxygen to meet the demands of the workout.

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 you can maintain for a minute. Don’t forget to count your steps.

Moderate Walk

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

Bring it back to a moderate pace, and catch your breath. This is your time to recover, so you’re ready for the next fast interval.

Fast Walk

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

Move those feet! Count your steps, and try to beat the number you had during the last fast interval.

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: 16:00–20:00
Step Rate: 120—125 spm

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

Fast Walk

Time: 20:00—21:00
Step Rate: 135—140 spm

Crank it up again. You’re probably breathing a lot harder. That’s normal. Breathe through your mouth—you’ll take in more air and feel more energized.

Moderate Walk

Time: 21:00—25:00
Step Rate: 120—125 spm

Slow down, and feel the muscles in your legs working. With every step, they’re getting stronger and firmer.

Fast Walk

Time: 25:00—26:00
Step Rate: 135—140 spm

Give it your all. Finish strong. Count your steps, and try to set a new personal best!

Moderate Walk

Time: 26:00—28:00
Step Rate: 120—125 spm

Slow to a moderate pace, and catch your breath.

Cooldown

Time: 28:00—30:00
Step Rate: 110—115 spm

Ease back to a leisurely stroll. Roll your shoulders forward and back a few times. Reach your arms overhead and stretch, or try these five stretches after your walk. Do whatever feels good. You’ve earned it!

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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