More effort, more reward.
“Walking is great for your health,” says Michele Stanten, SilverSneakers fitness expert and author of Walk Off Weight. “Walking more is even better. Walking more and walking faster is better still.”
What rewards come to those who walk? Studies have linked walking to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. And, of course, a slimmer waistline.
Then there’s the granddaddy of all rewards: Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can increase lifespan by an average of 3.5 years, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine. For people who are obese, the benefit is even greater: 4.2 years.
Today’s walk will make you sweat, but it’ll be worth it. You’ll be moving at a brisk pace for almost 40 straight minutes, which will burn a lot of calories.
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.
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. Going too fast or too hard right away can leave you feeling awful—muscles burning, gasping for air, or side stitches.
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.
Step Rate: 130–135 spm
Go faster. Stand tall. Keep your shoulders back and down. Take short, quick steps—you’ll cover more ground and burn more calories. At this pace, your arms will be pumping, and you’ll find it difficult to carry on a conversation without pausing to catch your breath.
Step Rate: 110–115 spm
Slow down to 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.Download Audio