Edit Article

How to Begin a Walking/ Weight Loss Program for the Very Unfit Person

Community Q&A

Would you like to increase your fitness and perhaps lose some weight at the same time? Here are some steps to help you achieve your goals by beginning a walking/weight loss program.


  1. 1
    Make goals for yourself that you can meet and make sure they matter to you.
  2. 2
    Your long-term goal may be to do 20 push-ups or to run a mile in less than 10 minutes. Or it may be to give your child a piggyback ride. Make sure it's something YOU want.
  3. 3
    Your short term goals will start off as daily goals, based on what you can do now. One example would be to walk 10 minutes a day. Another would be to bend forward at the waist to stretch your back - if you can touch your toes now, great, if not, that's a longer-term goal.
  4. 4
    You can have multiple short term goals.
  5. 5
    If you are REALLY out of shape, don't worry about the scale at first. You will be building muscle, which weighs more than fat, which also means you may put on weight. Focus on being stronger and able to move more first.
  6. 6
    Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner including a snack or two.
    • For your snack, try cereal, fruit, or yogurt.
  7. 7
    Drink lots of water. Most people are slightly dehydrated all the time. It'll help you to exercise more and to feel better.
  8. 8
    Track your progress on meeting your daily goals. You may find the act of writing down (paper or on the web) that you've done it is reward enough. Or you can buy a box of gold stars and make a calendar. Each day you go for a walk and try to touch your toes, put a star on the calendar.
  9. 9
    Build up your exercise to 1/2 to 1 hour a day. Walk to the mailbox, around your house, mow your lawn, walk around a mall while window shopping. If you can take the bus instead of driving you'll find you do a lot more walking to and from bus stops.
  10. 10
    Turn on your favorite music and dance (sing, if you want).
  11. 11
    Cleaning your house is great exercise. Picking up clutter is good stretching and lifting. Take out the garbage. Get out the mop and vacuum. As you get stronger, move the furniture and vacuum underneath.
  12. 12
    Strength training is important. If you haven't been fit, you want to focus on building your "core" muscles to support yourself in other activities.
  13. 13
    Stomach crunches are good for this. Lie down and see how much of your body you can lift off the floor. Shoulders? Cool. Tomorrow do it again. Over time you will lift more of yourself off and you will be able to do more crunches.
  14. 14
    Leg lifts are also good leg lifts. You lie on your back and lift up one leg 3 or 5 times, until your muscles are fatigued. Then do the other leg. Roll on your side and lift up, then on your front and lift the legs "back". Finish on the other side.
  15. 15
    Every little bit helps. As you sit at the computer, try lifting your legs off the floor. See how long you can keep from touching the floor. After a short time you will feel your stomach and leg muscles working. You are burning calories and building muscle!
  16. 16
    Can you walk up stairs? It's great for building leg muscle. Walking down can also build muscle if you use your muscles to lower yourself to each step - don't just drop from step to step. If your joints complain about going down, take the elevator down. Walk up.
  17. 17
    Your muscles may feel sore as you start to use them more. Treat them to warm baths and stretching to make them happy and keep yourself limber.
  18. 18
    Also think about your balance. Can you stand on one foot? For how long? This is another way to improve those core supportive muscles!
  19. 19
    The other part of improving fitness is to look at what you eat. Whether you are a skinny high school kid who wants to gain or a middle-aged person who wants to lose, A good short-term goal is to record what you eat each day. Realize that the act of writing it down will change how you eat at first, but over time the novelty will wear off and you'll be eating whatever is normal for you. This can help you spot habits you didn't know you had. You can also use websites to track your eating; http://www.sparkpeople.com is great for this.

Community Q&A

Ask a Question
If this question (or a similar one) is answered twice in this section, please click here to let us know.



  • Always eat breakfast. This will kickstart your metabolism so you'll FEEL like moving.
  • Figure out a schedule for yourself to work out. Example: Strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; walking and housework 6 days a week.
  • Note your food intake and exercise each day. This will help you keep a realistic picture of how much you are doing, and will help motivate you to work as well as help push you through plateaus.
  • Remember you are doing this so YOU will feel better. Tailor your goals to yourself. There's nothing wrong with "I want to be able to carry two loads of clothing upstairs" as a goal!
  • If you find yourself out of breath after only exercising for a short time, ask your doctor to check your breathing. Exercise can trigger an asthma attack for some people, tiring your lungs out before the rest of your body has gotten started. If you have untreated asthma, you might have more stamina than you know!
  • Be sure to stretch and warm up before any sort of strenuous exercise.
  • If you have children around you, play with them. Ride bikes, take them to the park, chase them. If you are having fun while you exercise, it won't seem like exercise.


  • Listen to your body! If something hurts, rest and allow yourself to heal. Pushing yourself to the point of injury is useless.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (1)

Article Info

Categories: Walking for Fitness

In other languages:

Español: iniciar un programa para bajar de peso para una persona fuera de forma, Deutsch: Walking ein Gewichtsverlustprogramm für sehr untrainierte Personen, Русский: начать заниматься программой снижения веса совсем неподготовленному человеку, Português: Começar um Programa de Caminhada e Perda de Peso Para Uma Pessoa Fora de Forma, Italiano: Avviare un Programma di Allenamento e Dimagrimento se sei Particolarmente Fuori Forma

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 72,328 times.

Did this article help you?