WellSpan Home

Walking as Aerobic Exercise

Topic Overview

Walking is a popular aerobic activity. It is easy to do, you don't need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. To get aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly-fast enough to make your pulse and breathing increase, but not so fast that you can't talk comfortably.

Some people start by walking daily during lunch or after work. Others start more gradually, with a 10- to 30-minute walk every other day. You can add up exercise time over the course of a day or week. Walking 10 minutes, 3 times a day is roughly equivalent to walking 30 minutes, once a day. Build up your walking routine bit by bit, and aim for at least 2½ hours a week of brisk walking.

Increasing your walking

You can increase your walking in simple ways. These suggestions can get you started, and you can probably think of more ways.

Add a few extra steps to your daily activities:

  • Park farther than usual from your workplace (or get off the bus or subway before your stop).
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator for one or two floors.
  • Take a lap around the outside of the grocery store before going in.

Walk instead of drive for short trips. Examples may include walking to:

  • Work.
  • School.
  • A friend's house.
  • A place for lunch.
  • A nearby store for small purchases.

Find a new area to walk in. Allow yourself some extra time in case this walk takes longer than your usual route. Because new areas may pose some safety concerns, try a new area only during daylight, and choose well-populated areas, such as:

  • Around your neighborhood. See some places you rarely see from your car. Meet some neighbors.
  • Around a whole park. Try pathless areas.
  • A mall.

Walk at various times of day. Use "transition times" (times between activities when you don't have to be anywhere) to get out and walk, such as:

  • After work, when you usually might sit in front of the television.
  • First thing in the morning. See a part of the day you usually might miss.
  • During your lunch break. Ask a coworker to join you for a walk.

For more information, see the topic Fitness.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×