How to start a walking program

For Yourself and Your Family

Review tips for hiking and walking.

Have goals for yourself in amounts of time, distance, or steps. If you are using a pedometer enter your steps instead of the distance walked. A realistic minimum goal for most people is 5000 steps, 2.5 miles or 30 to 60 exercise 4 times a week.

Make it easy on yourself – go out your door and walk; add a variety of routes or trails later.

Start slow, work up to goals; review How Much Daily Exercise Do We Need?

Vary your walks to keep them fresh. Once or twice a week, ask a family member along for company. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with your child and great one-on-one time!

Keep a log of your exercise to see your progression up to your goals.

Schedule your walks or hikes in your daily routine on your calendar.

Add walking to any other routine exercises you may do, i.e. treadmill, sports, and floor exercises.

You may prefer walking alone, as this gives an opportunity to carve some time out of a hectic days for yourself.

Consider combining your individual walking routine with walking or hiking together with a friend, group or club for additional interest and support, if this works for you.

Meet a friend for a walk, rather than coffee or lunch.

Small groups

Start a walking or hiking group with your family, friends or neighbors or at your club, senior center, congregation, scouting or youth group, etc.

Walk together once or twice a week to supplement your personal walking or exercise routine.

For variety, periodically drive to different locations with trails to help maintain interest and appreciation of the outdoors. Review the map locations near you.

Share the responsibility for arranging where and when to walk.

To add variety to your walking, participate in guided walks or organized annual events.

Consider joining or starting a walking club together. See Hiking and Walking Tips for groups in the area and state.

Trail Etiquette

When you walk the trails described on this site, please observe basic trail etiquette: Stay on the trails. Leave no garbage behind. Be quiet and respectful of nature and other walkers.