30 Day Walking Challenge For Beginners

Do you want to start exercising consistently, or do you long to get back into shape after being relatively sedentary for quite some time?

A 30 day walking challenge for beginners is a safe, approachable way to start exercising, even if you’re feeling winded walking up a flight of stairs or haven’t worked out regularly for years.

Over the course of our 30 day walking challenge, you will gradually build your endurance and strength, and will start to feel fitter, healthier, and more confident in your body.

Taking on our 30 day walking challenge can jumpstart your fitness journey or help you return to exercise after an injury, illness, pregnancy, or other period of inactivity.

Ready to start walking your way to better health? Keep reading for our 30 day walking challenge for beginners.

In this guide, we will cover: 

  • What Is the Marathon Handbook 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners?
  • What Are the Benefits and Goals of the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners?
  • Why Does the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners Have Rest Days?
  • 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners Training Plan
  • 7 Tips for the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners

Let’s commit to getting fit! 

Two people taking on the 30 day walking challenge.

What Is the Marathon Handbook 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners?

Our 30 day walking challenge for beginners is designed to help anyone get started with low-intensity exercise.

It was created to help sedentary or minimally-active people start incorporating exercise into their daily routine in an approachable, gradual, and sensible way by walking.

Daily walking workouts usually take 30 minutes or less, with a few longer walks once your endurance has improved, and there are rest days along the way as well.

What Are the Benefits and Goals of the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners?

If you’re not used to working out, starting a workout program can be super daunting.

Furthermore, vigorous forms or exercise like running or weight lifting are not only intimidating if you’re inexperienced and out of shape, but they also can be too taxing at first and leave you feeling really sore.

On the other hand, walking is perfect for beginners or people looking to get back into exercising regularly. 

A group of people power walking.
  • Walking also burns calories, so it can help you achieve your ideal body weight, lose body fat, and can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, among many other physical and mental health benefits.
  • Walking is a low-impact form of exercise, so if you suffer from joint pain or carry extra weight, starting with walking rather than running can be a more pain-free way to build up your cardiovascular stamina and muscular strength while getting your joints used to exercise again.

A 30 day walking challenge is a great way to build a consistent workout habit. You will get fitter and stronger over the 30 day walking challenge, as you will progressively walk more as your body adapts to your walking workouts. 

Essentially, this 30 day walking challenge for beginners will get you started with exercise by way of daily walking.

The goal is not to mold you into a champion athlete or marathon walker over the next month, but to help you build a consistent habit of making time for physical activity and enough stamina to handle walking briskly for 30 minutes without stopping, and that’s amazing. 

Two people walking.

Why Does the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners Have Rest Days?

Since this beginner walking challenge is only 30 days, it might seem unnecessary to have rest days. After all, so many fitness challenges that circulate social media sites these days are “balls-to-the-wall” tests of pushing yourself every day.

This 30-day beginner walking challenge is not one of these sorts of programs. We want this to be a safe, sustainable program that builds confidence and consistency as much as it does fitness, endurance, and strength.

The rest days are an important aspect of your training and of this walking challenge.

Though many beginners get so excited about their new exercise routine that they want to work out every day, rest days give your body time to rebuild, repair, and recover. 

Regularly taking rest days reduces the risk of injury by allowing sufficient time for your tissues to recover before loading them with the impacts, strains, forces, and stresses of walking again. Taking time off enables you to hit the next walking workout safely with renewed energy and strength. 

As you get fitter, you may only need the occasional day off if you’re only walking (rather than running), but it’s always important to listen to your body.

A close up of someone walking on a treadmill.

30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners training Plan

This 30 day beginner walking challenge will help you work up to walking briskly for 30 minutes without stopping. We purposely do not include specific walking paces or speeds. Everyone is at a different place in their fitness journey, so walk by effort

  • During an easy walk, you should be able to carry on a full conversation with complete sentences.
  • On “Rest or easy walk days,” you can either take a complete break or walk at a leisurely pace, depending on your fitness level and goals. 

We want this to be a safe, sustainable 30 day walking plan for beginners that builds confidence and consistency as much as it does fitness, endurance, and strength.

As your body needs time to rebuild, repair, and recover don’t forget to take at least one of the two rest days per week.

30-Day Walking Challenge Printout

(right click the image to save and print this Challenge, or scroll to the end of the article for a text version)

7 Tips for the 30 Day Walking Challenge for Beginners

This may be your first foray into exercise or it may be a long time since you’ve worked out consistently, so there’s a good chance you have some trepidation heading into this 30 day walking challenge for beginners.

Fear not: We’ve put together some tips to help you complete the challenge successfully (and hopefully enjoy the process).

#1: Walk By Effort, Not By Pace

Don’t worry about how fast you are walking, even during the “brisk” walks. Just try to keep moving and use effort as your guide.

Two people walking on a track.

#2: Set a Schedule

Choose a time of day for your walks that works best in your schedule and then try to be consistent with that routine, unless you specifically like varying your schedule.

Although not a necessity, it’s often easier to make a time for working out and keep a habit if you’re consistent with when and how you do it.

For example, you might find that it’s easiest to get your walks in as soon as you wake up. Or, maybe you have a long lunch break and enjoy breaking up your day with a walk to stretch your legs, get your heart pumping, and enjoy the fresh air. 

Other people like to exercise away the stress of a long day at work with an evening walk. 

Whatever works best for you, try to carve out the time every day as your sacred exercise time to ensure there are no excuses or conflicts that get in the way of your training.

A person walking briskly in a park.

#3: Plan Your Walking Routes Ahead Of Time

Some walkers thrive on plenty of variety in their walking routes to keep things fresh. Other walkers prefer a small handful of routes or walking on a track or treadmill. Find what makes you comfortable and feels motivating and fun.

Don’t be afraid to try new routes because if your routine gets too repetitive, you may get bored or feel unchallenged. 

#4: Walk With a Friend

Walking with a friend, family member, or co-worker provides accountability, motivation, and companionship, and can be safer than walking alone. 

Chatting also makes time fly by, and If it’s pouring rain on Monday morning when you wake up at 6am for your walk, you’re less likely to snooze again if you have a partner, neighbor, or friend scheduled to hit the roads with you. 

#5: Wear the Right Gear 

You’ll be putting some serious mileage on your feet during the 30 day beginner walking challenge, and we hope that you’ll keep walking once you’ve completed the 30 days.

Although old sneakers or even casual sandals may have been fine for short walks in the past, getting a good pair of walking shoes will help ensure your feet are properly supported.

Worn out shoes with insufficient support can increase the risk of injury. If you don’t plan on doing any running or jogging, get a walking-specific shoe. If you’d like to eventually try some running as well, running shoes can also be a good option.

Two people walking and laughing.

#6: Drink Plenty of Water

Depending on the climate in which you live, the clothing you wear, and the pace you walk, you may or may not sweat a lot during your walks. Even if you don’t seem to be sweating significantly, it’s still important to hydrate well before and after your walks. 

Sweat evaporates and you also lose fluid through expired air, so we often need more water than we think.

Consider carrying a handheld water bottle for longer walks or investing in a hydration belt to hold water hands free.

#7: Make It Fun

Even if you prefer to walk alone or don’t have anyone to walk with, you can make your walks more fun by listening to music or podcasts, enlisting your dog to be your walking companion, or finding some other way to keep your walks motivating and enjoyable.

After you’ve mastered your 30 minute walk, perhaps you would like to step up to the next challenge, walking a 5k. Take a look at our resources to help get you there!

A person walking and smiling.
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
10 minute easy walkRest or 15 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk10 minute easy walk10 minute brisk walkRest or 15 minute easy walk10 minute easy walk, 5 minute brisk walk for 15 minutes total
20 minute easy walkRest or 15 minute easy walk20 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk15 minute brisk walkRest or 15 minute easy walk10 minute easy walk, 10 minute brisk walk for 20 minutes total
25 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk, 10 minute brisk walk for 25 minutes total20 minute easy walk20 minute brisk walkRest or 15 minute easy walk10 minute easy walk, 15 minute brisk walk for 25 minutes total
30 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk15 minute easy walk, 15 minute brisk walk for 30 minutes total25 minute easy walk25 minutes brisk walkRest or 15 minute easy walk10 minute easy walk, 20 minute brisk walk for 30 minutes total
35 minute easy walk30 minute brisk walk
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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