How to Get Started with Walking

Physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. It’s time to change the “no pain, no
gain” mentality. Walking is a simple and accessible way to boost your activity levels while
improving your overall wellness. Use this guide to help you start your own walking routine
today!

Benefits of Walking

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends doing at least 150 minutes, or 30 minutes,
5 times a week, of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to improve overall physical and
mental health. The good news is that brisk walking fits into this category! Adding walking to
your daily routine can help you:
● Boost your mood
● Improve your energy and concentration
● Decrease stress and anxiety
● Reduce your risk of heart disease
● Improve your blood pressure
● Improve your blood sugar levels
● Boost your bone strength

Getting Started

Since walking is free, simple, and customizable, the American Heart Association says that
individuals are more likely to stick to a walking routine than other forms of exercise. It only
takes a few steps to get started. Use this guide to help you integrate walking into your daily
routine and lace up your shoes for a walk today!

  • Plan Your Route
  • Deciding where to walk, and making time for a walk, is half the battle! It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood, or visiting a nature area to walk around. If you're in the Davis area, there are several campus walking loops and parks to check out on our Physical Activity Map.
  • Schedule It In
  • It can be as short as a 10-minute walk during lunch, or a longer walk while you call a friend to catch up. Walking can also be a mindful activity to connect with nature. However you like to do it, making time for it in your schedule is essential to actually walking. If you're looking for help adding movement to your day, our Movement Calendar may help you find some times that align with your schedule!
  • Stay Motivated
  • Sticking with a plan can be difficult. Setting goals or tracking your progress can be a great way to stay motivated. Check out this Getting Started Guide for a Walking Tracker from Staff and Faculty Well-being resource (available to students)!

More Tips for Walking

  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after walking. If you are walking on campus, visit one of the many H2O stations to fill up your water bottle.
  • Search for fitness apps like Runkeeper that will track your route, time, and pace while you're walking. You can save your walks so you can refer back to them and see your progress.

Walking may be less intense than high-intensity interval training, running, spinning, and other high-impact exercises, but that doesn't mean it's not a great choice for physical activity. Since walking does not require any equipment or preparation, there's no better time to take a walk than today!