Rise and Stride: You Could Walk Off Up to 10 Pounds in 28 Days


By: , – Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer
  :  53 comments   :  2,203,671 Views

When's the best time of day to exercise? First thing in the morning of course! Morning exercisers tend to stick with their workouts because nothing else (besides sleep) has a chance to get in the way. So I designed this progressive four-week walking program specifically for morning walkers who might meet up with friends to keep their workouts social and motivating.
You can, of course, do these workouts solo, on a treadmill or outdoors, or any time of day. Each one burns about 300 calories. Coupled with a reduced-calorie diet (try SparkPeople's free calorie tracker to find out how much you should eat to lose weight), this plan can help jump-start your weight loss in just one month! 


Day Workout Intensity Total Minutes
Sunday Practice maintaining a consistent pace. RPE: 5 30
Monday Walk briskly for 5 min; go hard for 1 min. Repeat 5 times. RPE: 5-7 30
Tuesday Ready to work? Increase your pace or incline at least 4 times along the way. RPE: 5-7 30
Wednesday Hum a song that you and your friends know and stay on pace with it. RPE: 5 30
Thursday Increase your pace or incline at least 4 times. RPE: 5-7 30
Friday Walk briskly 5 min; go all-out for 1 min. Repeat 5 times. RPE: 5-7 30
Saturday Rest today.    


Day Workout Intensity Total Minutes
Sunday Walk up and down hills as many times as possible. RPE: 6-8 35
Monday Walk as fast as you can. RPE: 8 35
Tuesday Step briskly for 6 min, then super fast for 2. Repeat 5 times. RPE: 6-8 40
Wednesday Strut at a steady, moderate pace. RPE: 5 40
Thursday Have a friendly race uphill. RPE: 6 30
Friday Step briskly for 6 min, then super fast for 2. Repeat 5 times. RPE: 6-8 40
Saturday Rest today.    


Day Workout Intensity Total Minutes
Sunday Maintain your pace and intensity. RPE: 6 40
Monday Walk as fast as you can for 5 min; recover. Repeat. RPE: 6-8 40
Tuesday Work your glutes: Climb a slight hill or incline most of the workout. RPE: 7 40
Wednesday Walk quickly for 6 min; walk your fastest for 3 min. Repeat 5 times. RPE: 6-8 45
Thursday Trek up and down a tough hill nonstop. RPE: 6-8 45
Friday Find a slight hill to climb steady and strong most of the workout. RPE: 7 45
Saturday Rest today.    


Day Workout Intensity Total Minutes
Sunday Walk 6 min; up the pace OR incline for 3 min. Repeat. RPE: 6-8 45
Monday Maintain a fast and furious speed. RPE: 7 45
Tuesday Walk up and down a hill as many times as possible. RPE: 6-8 45
Wednesday Walk briskly for 6 min; boost speed or incline for 3 min. Repeat. RPE: 6-8 45
Thursday Work your butt off today. Talking should be difficult. RPE: 7-8 45
Friday Grand finale! Go all-out. Change incline and speed at will. RPE: 8 45
Saturday Rest today. You've earned it!    

Going fast enough? Count your strides for one minute. Your goal is at least 55 strides per minute. For a guide to workout intensity and RPE (your rate of perceived exertion), click here.

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  • 53
    I absolutely agree that you can walk miles and miles, but without diet-change, you will not see results. But I like the emphasis on walking...no need for gym memberships or equipment. - 3/18/2017   11:35:29 AM
  • 52
    I can tell you from personal experience it is nearly impossible to walk off pounds without a change in diet. And if you happen to be insulin resistant even more so. - 12/27/2016   3:56:45 PM
  • 51
    This feels like clickbait. Spark usually has more sensible articles. - 9/2/2016   7:41:40 AM
    Hate to show my ignorance, but what is RPE? Never mind, I just saw the answer. - 11/3/2015   11:23:47 PM
  • 49
    This is NOT something you can do outside...unless you put your treadmill outside.... - 7/9/2015   9:44:20 AM
  • 48
    For those concerned about the title: it says, "up to" 10 lbs. It is possible to lose 10 lbs (safely) in a month if you are just beginning. Usually it is water weight. After that, it usually tapers off to averaging at 1-2 lbs a week. Everyone loses weight differently, anyway. Some metabolisms are higher than others. I think the danger is more in our mindset; we should always be focused on striving for better health vs. just trying to get skinny as quickly as we can. If you lose 10 lbs in 28 days even though you were following all the sage advice out there for safe, slow, steady weight loss... why complain? - 4/19/2015   5:19:24 PM
  • 47
    Very disappointed in Spark! That headline goes completely against the usual philosophy & is more worthy of a cheesy magazine at the grocery checkout. What happened to a safe 1-2 pound a week loss? I'm all for walking programs, just not hyperbole & unrealistic expectations.
    - 3/28/2015   3:03:09 PM
  • 46
    A very good article and reasonable, effective plan. It will increase your fitness level. However, 10 pounds in 28 days? Only if you watch your calories too or perhaps if you are starting from a very sedentary lifestyle. Still, very much worth the effort. - 2/19/2015   9:00:36 AM
    This is so do-able. Max commitment is 45 minutes a day, six days a week. For most of us, that averages out to just one less TV show a night. - 2/2/2015   3:08:25 PM
    This is so organized. Love it. Thanks for this decent and easy to follow guide. :-) - 1/5/2015   4:33:51 PM
  • 43
    I don't drive so I usually walk (or cycle) everywhere. 8 years ago I managed to lose 17 kilos (about 37 pounds) in a few months, just walking everyday to and from work and being a bit more careful with my diet. I'm trying this again now, because I have regained 5 kilos and I want to lose some more. I try to be determined! ;) - 8/17/2014   6:01:26 AM
  • 42
    I work out during lunch at work - my walking work out is to walk the parking ramp 2 times (that's 7 levels). the incline is already built into the parking structure. Usually once a week I'll do the stairs up and then run down - x 5 times (515 stairs). Always careful to look for cars! I call this my personal indoor incline ramp - and it's always covered from the weather. - 8/3/2014   10:56:11 AM
  • 41
    For those who walk an hour a day and keep to less than 1500 calories but don't lose weight I suggest looking at the food you eat for one, and second, change up your exercise. You need to get your body out of its comfort zone. To jump start some weight loss eat LOTS of veggies and fruit, no to practically no bread, pasta or starchy veggies (potatoes, corn), and very limited dairy. All I can say is it worked very well for me. After I got a few pounds off I ate more normally but still somewhat restricted. Normalize your weight for 2 weeks or more then do it again. I used ideas from Eat to Live to get started. I don't entirely agree with the philosophy of the book but it was a great kickstart to weight loss. - 7/18/2014   9:21:17 AM
  • MICHIE632
    I have been a walker for many years now. I usually walk about 5000 steps a day to and from work (I get off the subway 2 stops before my regular stop when I have time inthe morning. I had no trouble keeping my weight down until I passed the age of 50. We do a lot of walking on the weekends, some hill work but I now have trouble trying to lose the belly fat.

    I used to drink about 6 oz of wine with my dinner every night, but have cut back to only 2-3 nights a week. It used to work quickly, but now I need to find other ways to cut my calories without completely depriving myself.
    If I am very strict on myself, that lasts about 2 weeks, if that and I set myself up to fail. If I told my doctor, he would say, well you are getting older and won't lose the weight. Should I include more upper body work? - 7/15/2014   9:12:41 PM
  • 39
    I've been speed walking for years, but as I got older it's not speed any more, but it still has me huffing and sweating. It never helped me to lose weight no matter how long or how much extra I did as I walked (carrying the body blade, light weights with arm exercises). I still gained my middle aged surplus weight, now I have the over 60 surplus. Still walking, but I need to combine it with eating even more sensibly than I do now. Even doubling up on my walking doesn't help drop any pounds. I must be from another planet or somewhere? I could not get the speeds recommended on this challenge. I was happy to see something new that I can do but the speeds are too high for these legs! Walking is very good though. I don't think there is a mph specified but saying fast and furious, that means "more than I can handle". I'd still be going at my regular speed. - 7/15/2014   7:11:48 PM
  • SRAFNA63
    This kind of walking schedule will really help me to stay focused and progress each day. It will definitely be a great help. Thank you. - 7/15/2014   9:17:44 AM
  • 37
    Looks easy, fun and, most of all, effective! I have only 10 pounds to go and maybe this will do it. I'm starting this today!!! - 7/15/2014   9:10:40 AM
  • 36
    It says RPE 5 NOT MPH 5. It is even defined right under the charts.
    Rate of perceived exertion of 5 means working at half of your capability. Working at a 10 would be all out, working at a 1 would be barely moving. - 7/15/2014   8:24:45 AM
  • 35
    BRONW3N - I'm the same way, 3-3.5 is brisk walking before it turns into a jog for me. It's always funny to be on a treadmill running my little heart out at 4.5 mph and someone next to me is still walking at the same pace lol. - 7/15/2014   7:07:36 AM
  • 34
    I agree with HillSlug below. If you are already at 100 miles walking (or running) per month, doing this won't drop 10 more pounds. You cannot outwalk or outrun your fork. - 7/15/2014   6:11:11 AM
  • 33
    I dunno about this. Maybe it's just because I'm short, but even when I've trained every day for months there is no way I can "walk" at 4 mph. At that speed I'm RUNNING. Period.

    Now, if it were *possible* for me to walk at 4 mph, I'm sure it would help me drop the pounds. As it is I think I'll just keep plodding along at 2-3 mph and call it good.

    :-) - 6/6/2014   12:05:40 AM
  • HILLSLUG98239
    I have to question whether losing ten pounds a month is the type of sustainable weight loss SparkPeople preaches. If a person is fit enough to walk 4-4.5 mph with an RPE of 5, they're probably not carrying the kind of extra weight that comes off quickly. - 4/9/2014   1:04:20 PM
  • 31
    does this work for people who already walk a lot? I have been walking really fast (as in, if my feet went any faster I would be jogging) for 60 mins per day for a month on 1200 - 1500 calories a day and only lost 1 pound. Am I doing something wrong? I have stuck to my plan religiously and not missed any days of exercise and I haven't gone over my recommended calories, not even once most days my intake is only between 1220 and 1300. - 2/14/2014   12:39:33 PM
    I do 3.8/4.0 and I am doing grest. Each time try to go a little more. - 5/8/2013   8:03:19 AM
  • 29
    I do a lot of walking outside when the weather is warm, but in the cold weather I walk on a treadmill. I think either is good provided I don't settle into a rut. Meaning I need to make sure I step it up when it gets too easy by walking faster, longer or by increasing the % of incline on the treadmill. - 1/12/2013   8:16:46 PM
  • 28
    One of the smarter pieces of advice I got about weight loss articles is always read "up to" as "less than" since they actually mean the same. I walk 3-4 miles and sometimes more daily, and adhere to a 1100-1200 calories a day diet, and the most I ever lose is 6# a month, but usually 4-5#. If you follow this program and only lose 5# that month, don't be dismayed--that is probably the average, and you are doing great. - 1/7/2013   10:44:30 AM
  • 27
    I moved to the city last year and got rid of my car (which was a necessity in the suburbs back home). It's AMAZING what walking has done to help me lose weight but also tone my legs and butt! I've never had toned legs before. Suddenly I was able to wear the normal boots instead of wide calf. Granted, the healthy eating and water drinking contributed to the weight loss, but the walking has been the biggest part! Ironically I got a dog in September and thought I would walk even more but it's been cold and logistics are more difficult (I used to walk for errands but I can't take her in most places). - 1/4/2013   12:55:08 AM
  • 26
    Previously, I focused my workouts on the gym - elliptical, treadmill, and weights.
    Following surgery, I started walking instead over the summer. It's remarkable how effective it is! I have slowed down over the past couple months due to severe bronchitis which puts me at risk for pneumonia if I don't have complete rest. But I'm ready to get going again.
    I'm curious how people can walk at 4-4.5 mph. Even at my fittest and thinnest, the most I can do on a treadmill is 3.8 mph and I generally walk at a pace a little over 3.5 mph. Maybe 3.6-3.7. My legs are so short, I'm going as fast as humanly possible at that pace. Is that really feasible for most people? I'm wondering if my short legs are part of the problem - I have a very short stride... - 1/3/2013   11:29:15 AM
    YES I GOING TO - 1/3/2013   9:42:55 AM
  • 24
    I may do some walking. - 1/2/2013   8:01:32 PM
  • MYJACK401
    I think the main goal is to get out there and try - do the best you can. I have belonged to the American Volkssport Association for 20 years. There are many walk routes available from the member clubs in this organization.There is also an incentive program available at a low cost. - 1/2/2013   1:17:21 PM
  • 22
    Speed is not the important number because everyone will have a different speed the gets then to a high RPE. If you feel like you had a good workout after a walk you are going fast enough. I started at 2.6mph 6 months ago and was exhausted. Now I can do 4.0 for 30 or 40 minutes.

    You do have to have decent knees and back to walk. Without that other options are there. Biking or swimming are easier on both. - 1/2/2013   1:07:06 PM
    I don't like to exercise BUT I am almost 70years old now and am finally starting yo pay attention to my health.I work out 7days a week on my elliptical machine and am now starting to do reg.exercises as well.I do think exercise is vital for permanent weight loss,I try not to think of it being for the rest of my life but I need to get a better attitude.I do like the elliptical machine it is handy and I am stepping up to more exercise every week.Do what you enjoy most although I rather not do anything but exercise is so important especially for the weight loss and then just for good health. - 1/2/2013   12:04:56 PM
  • 20
    My knees hurt! I realize it's because of my weight. I just want to get started? Does anyone out there have similar problems? Thanks for your input. I'm going to do it this time. I'm determined! - 1/2/2013   10:36:36 AM
  • 19
    While a good plan - not doable for those with back issues ... I would like to see a real baby steps program for those with limited motion but working on gaining strength. I use WATP 3x per week for 1 mi. ea. - 1/2/2013   9:12:39 AM
  • 18
    I used to walk a lot, treadmill, mall and neighborhood. But I have back problems and one time around the mall is all I can do before my leg goes numb. So I use the recumbant bike. Maybe I don't get the same intense workout but I'm not injuring myself. - 1/2/2013   8:58:53 AM
  • 17
    RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion. "RPE is a self-measurement of how hard you feel you're working out, with 0 being no effort and 10 being heart-pounding, sweat-dripping super hard."

    I love walking. I walk almost every day but don't really track my speed. I track how far and for how long I walk (so technically I could figure it out, but I never do). As BERRY4 mentioned, now that I'm over 50 it isn't enough just to walk to help me lose weight as it once was. It's still a great form of exercise, though! If you can't get outside, there are a number of indoor walking videos from Leslie Sansone available. - 1/2/2013   8:50:53 AM
    Way too fast for me. I agree it doesn't go with the usual work at your own pace just move. - 1/2/2013   5:30:41 AM
  • 15
    Looks like everybody is concerned about the speed mentioned in the blog. The actual article only mentions the PRE. For some, a PRE of 5 may be at 4 mph, for others it may be 2.5. I don't see anything that really goes contrary to the SP philosophy of doing what you can. - 1/2/2013   5:06:28 AM
    What is RPE? - 1/2/2013   4:58:42 AM
  • 13
    Look just getting off your tuckus and doing any speed of walking is better than nothing. If you can't walk that fast, don't. 30 minutes a day walking at any speed is great exercise and the best part is the more you do the more to want to do. - 1/2/2013   3:33:07 AM
  • 12
    I think this is a great plan. We can keep our own pace but the weight loss wouldn't be as much. Thanks for sharing! Walking in the cold makes me speed up anyway lol! - 1/1/2013   9:56:17 PM
    Cant do much walking in the winter time, with a little one, cant wait until spring to walking
    - 1/1/2013   9:45:39 PM
  • 10
    I am up to 4 mph but that is after 4 months of consistent daily walking. Great way to start my day. - 1/1/2013   8:15:06 PM
  • 9
    The last time I "walked off" the pounds was in 2006. I lost 35 #'s training to walk a marathon. (I was walking over 100 miles a month!)

    Now that I'm past 50 yrs of age, my weight does NOT seem to respond in the same way to that exercise. I have to mix-it up more and work w/ intervals and mix in ST to see the losses of the past. - 1/1/2013   3:50:49 PM
  • 8
    Hey fellow sparkers, I don't think that Coach Nicole was saying you HAVE TO walk that fast but just trying to say that YOU CAN achieve big losses if you do this and this and this and that too. I think we often make too many excuses for ourselves rather than in doing what we can do.
    I'm with you though on SparkPeople's REASONABLE approach and I always tell everyone that they should just try to drink more water :-) Easy doable mindful steps towards living healthier, then fruits and vegies, then some exercise, then .... You get the picture and to me Spark is the cheering section for our successes and support so that we can get over our failures.
    With all that said, they describe a pretty serious program - wow!
    - 1/1/2013   2:22:39 PM
  • 7
    Hey fellow sparkers, I don't think that Coach Nicole was saying you HAVE TO walk that fast but just trying to say that YOU CAN achieve big losses if you do this and this and this and that too. I think we often make too many excuses for ourselves rather than in doing what we can do.
    I'm with you though on SparkPeople's REASONABLE approach and I always tell everyone that they should just try to drink more water :-) Easy doable mindful steps towards living healthier, then fruits and vegies, then some exercise, then .... You get the picture and to me Spark is the cheering section for our successes and support so that we can get over our failures.
    With all that said, they describe a pretty serious program - wow!
    - 1/1/2013   2:22:37 PM
  • 6
    I lost 60 lbs. by walking and eating right. The speed is based on ones own personal health issues. I did 4.4 to 4.6 yesterday on my treadmill but today because of my arthritis today I did 3.8 to 4.0 - 1/1/2013   1:29:41 PM
  • 5
    I notice this is authored by a Family Circus "guest blogger," not Coach Nicole, which may account for why the focus here seems to owe more to Family Circle's 'fix-it-fast' philosophy than to SP's reasonable, intelligent types of goals. Maybe it's a revenue-getter? it certainly doesn't resonate with SP's usual integrity of focus. - 1/1/2013   12:40:27 PM
  • 4
    I am finding this a very doable program. This is more than a "walk" it's a fast paced walk or a slower run at 4.0-4.5. It is more like a run/walk program. Intervals to be specific which are an excellent way to build up speed and endurance. - 1/1/2013   11:48:42 AM

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