Level 3
Fitness Walking Program

Fit Woman Walking On Track

Great work!

You've reached our Level 3 Fitness Walking Program and climbed a pretty big mountain to get here!

That says really good things about you. Loud and clear! Well done!

And just to confirm, you're in the right place if:

  • you've completed the Level 2 Fitness Walking Program and want to push yourself further.
  • your past injuries aren't hampering you since you completed Level 2.
  • you want to try more advanced walking challenges.
  • your health professional says you're ready for more strenuous walking activities.

Special Note:
If you haven't already done so, please complete our Level 2 Fitness Walking Program before continuing here. This is important.
And also if you haven't already done so, please review our Fitness Walking Programs introductory section too.

You already know the importance of making your stretching & warm up exercises BEFORE AND AFTER your daily walking program a part of your daily routine.

Your Health Goals…

…in the Level 3 Fitness Walking Program are determined by you. You know better than anyone by now how your body is handling this exercise. You decide how much farther you want to push yourself. Always listen to your body.

The Level 3 Fitness Walking Program improves your cardiovascular system, helps you lose more weight, improves your muscular endurance and gives you more energy without really even thinking about it.

Keep Track!

Keep an accurate record of your walks in your Walking Journal or notebook. Set your goal for the week - note where you walked, for how long, how fast, how many steps, what route you took.

Make It A Habit!

Journal Page

If you've been following our Level 1 and 2 Programs, making it a habit in your own personal Level 3 Fitness Walking Program is a piece of cake. Keep it up!


Progress At Your Own Pace!

Fit woman Path Walking

Start your Level 3 Fitness Walking Program by walking at a little higher pace than you finished Level 2 at. Work at a pace that challenges you but doesn't set you back. Listen to your body. Respect it. Slow down when it tells you to.

HINT: Your pace is right for you if you can just carry on a conversation without puffing. For your higher pace segments you should be puffing when you're trying to talk.

Work to reduce your one mile time from 25 to 20 to 15 minutes per mile over a period of several weeks. When you can hit 15 minutes per mile, you've reached "Super Walker" class! Excellent work!

ONE BIG CAUTION!

We're not spring chicks any more. Remember … if you're overcoming past pains, surgeries and injuries, they'll likely be with you for the rest of your life. Push yourself too far, or too fast and the old bod may just let you know about it! Sometimes in no uncertain terms.

Your Level 3 Fitness Walking Program is NOT easy. It is a challenge. Everyone is different. You just have to listen - carefully - to your body! Set your goals according to WHAT YOUR BODY TELLS YOU!

Creating Your Own Level 3 Fitness Walking Program

Here's where you get to create your very own personal programs. Start by walking 5-6 days a week. Take at least one rest day a week. It might be best if you stagger it. Day 3 and Day 6 for example.

Try some of these variations to get you started.

Fit Woman Walking
  • Add more walking time to your program. Move yourself from 60 minutes to 90 minutes a session over a 3-6 week period.
  • Increase your walking speed or pace. Aim to walk at a rate of 1 mile (1.6 km) in 25 minutes, then 20 minutes and finally in 15 minutes. Spread this progression over 12-20 weeks. Be reasonable. This is NOT easy!
  • Add some hills to your walk every third or fourth day. Climb a modest hill (3% grade to start) for 1-2 minutes 2-3 times per walk. Allow at least the same time (1-2 minutes) walking on level ground level between hill sections.
  • increase the grade of the hill up to 6% and climb time up to 4-5 minutes per section over 6-12 weeks.
  • try carrying some weights* while you walk. Do this every second or third day at most.

*A Bit More About Weights

You can use:

  • Soft Hand Weights (most economical but you must grip and carry them while you walk),
  • Glove & Wrist Weights (more expensive but better. Don't have to grip them) or
  • Weight Vests (pricier but best solution. Puts weight in your core area, not your arms).
  • Hand carried weights should NEVER exceed two pounds. Vest weights can weigh as much as 30 pounds.
  • The weight technique helps with weigh loss, strength and endurance.
    CAUTION: Do NOT use weights if you are prone to high blood pressure, back, shoulder, wrist or knee problems

More Good Ideas & Variations

mature woman power walking

Power Walking/Fitness Walking is basically a combination of Regular Walk - Hill Walk - Weight Walk days. Do one per day with a day off between each.

You can gradually increase the amount of time you walk, the grade of the hill(s) you climb and how much weight you carry. Don't increase too much all at once.

Take your time and LISTEN to your body.

NOTE: Power Walking uses the brisk paced, normal walking gait as described in Walking Techniques. It's not that funny thing where your hips are swivelling around like an old dishwasher and your arms are threatening to bop your neighbour. That's called Race Walking where one foot has to be fully on the ground at all times!

Half Marathon Walking is basically where you take the power walking program and extend it to gain even longer times and greater endurance. When you feel you're ready to start this one though, make sure you work with a Personal Trainer.

Even more Level 3 Fitness Walking Program variations.

Nordic Walking Group
  • vary your walking route.
  • build more uphill and downhill sections into your route.
  • walk with a friend or group of friends or neighbours.
  • walk with local community groups.
  • try nordic walking. One of our all time favourites.
  • try mall walking in poor weather.
  • try treadmill walking if you prefer the indoors.
  • try charity walks.
Winter Lakeside Bench
  • try winter walking.
  • go on a hiking and backpacking trip.
  • take walking tours and adventures.
  • consider a walking vacations either yourself or with a group of friends.

And if you want even more, visit A Different Walking Style - For A Change.

Hit A Plateau?

Pains starting up? How far do you back off? What do you do?

Start by backing off a bit to a more comfortable level. Check your journal and pick a spot at least one or two stages below where your pains started up again. Take a break for a day or two. Start a little slower and work up to your problem level. See how it feels. Still a problem? Take another step back.

If you still can't find a comfortable place to start again after some rest, it might be best to see your doctor and get checked out again.

Going Forward

Wow! You've created and achieved the goals of your very own Level 3 Fitness Walking Program. Be very proud of yourself. You've come a very long way.

You are living proof that the Benefits of Walking are many. Share your success with your friends. Share it with your fellow readers here. We just love hearing of and sharing your successes.

No need to encourage you to keep going. You've already made it a habit and know the joys of doing just that. Enjoy your improved fitness and health!


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