Beginner workout:
•    To start, walk 10 minutes, at least three to five days a week, at an easy pace until your muscles adjust to the new activity.
•    Maintain good posture to avoid putting unnecessary strain on joints.
•    Swing arms freely, step gently and avoid locking the knee joints.
•    Stay close to home or in an area with benches to rest on, in case you become fatigued.

After a week, add five minutes to your walk, and keep adding five-minute increments weekly. Continue that progression, walking more frequently and increasingly longer at a faster speed and you’ll be on the way to meeting the minimum guidelines in no time.

PROGRAM 2: VARY YOUR SPEEDS

Try interval walking, incorporating short bursts of speed into a moderately paced walk, to burn more calories in the same amount of time. In a recent study from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, women who performed interval workouts lost three times as much body fat as women who exercised at a continuous pace.

Interval walking workout:
•    Warm-up at a slow-to-moderate pace for 5 minutes.
•    Walk at a moderate pace for one minute.
•    Walk at a fast pace for 30 seconds.
•    Return to a moderate pace for one minute.
•    Repeat the cycle for the total length of your workout, at least 25 to 30 minutes (five days a week).
•    Cool down at the end with a slow walk.
•    Gradually extend the fast pace interval, until you’re doing one, then two and eventually three minutes each.
•    Option: Walk a hilly route or use the “interval” setting on your treadmill.

PROGRAM 3: WORK YOUR WHOLE BODY

Power walking, at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour, is a great way to boost intensity. Walk a mile in about 15 to 20 minutes, tighten your core muscles and add arm movements, and you’ll burn as much as 400 calories during an hour.

FYI: Power walking is similar to race walking, but the latter is a sport with rules and regulations.

Power-walking workout:
•    Warm up at a slow-to-moderate pace for 5 minutes.
•    Increase to a moderate to fast pace, using short, quick steps, without locking the knees.
•    Use a heel-to-toe motion, starting with the heel, roll through the foot bed and push off with your big toe.  
•    Keep your buttocks tight to engage your lower back muscles and pull in your core (abdominal) muscles.
•    Bend your arms roughly 90 degrees, with fists loosely closed, and pump them back and forth, as if skiing.
•    Maintain a consistent rhythm throughout your walk.
•    Cool down at the end with a slow walk.