IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

A 30-day plan to help you make walking a daily habit

Lace up your sneakers! It's time to log a 30-day walking streak one step at a time.

Welcome to Start TODAY. Sign up for our Start TODAY newsletter to join the 30-day challenge and receive daily inspiration sent to your inbox.

An avid walker and Start TODAY member, TODAY's Al Roker has been an inspiration to all of us, sharing his walking streaks while navigating surgeries and health issues.

Last summer, he announced that he had walked more than 10,000 steps a day for 215 days straight. He's a true testament to how the momentum of a walking streak can keep you moving, even on days you may not feel like exercising.

Start TODAY members are also sharing how daily walking streaks have been an integral part of their weight-loss journey.

Mercedes Riley's 84-pound weight loss journey started with simply walking around her backyard for five minutes every day. Paul Devlin lost half of his body weight by walking daily (he logs up to 9 miles a day!) and posts pictures of his strolls with his dog Elvis in the Start TODAY group to motivate others. Member Missy Gillenwater lost 115 pounds and cured her acid reflux with a daily walking routine — she recently celebrated a 13-month walking streak!

For this month’s plan, we're going to use their success as motivation to create our own daily walking habit. The challenge is to walk every day this month so that at the end of June you can claim a 30-day walking streak!

Why should I walk every day? 

The physical benefits of walking are huge — improving cardiovascular health and circulation, reducing joint stiffness and muscle aches and pains, improving blood pressure, boosting metabolism and more.

In addition, regular physical activity like walking has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Walking also helps relieve stress and increase mindfulness, especially if done outside in nature.

How far should I walk every day?

We don't have a set step count or distance for a reason. This month's challenge is designed to be inclusive of everyone regardless of physical fitness or activity level. Simply get moving and challenge yourself to gradually increase your distance over time.

If you are currently sedentary, walking 2,000 steps a day may be challenge enough for you, whereas someone who is already committed to a walking routine may be looking at 15,000 steps a day as a goal.

Remember: The point is to make walking a consistent habit. So I am less concerned about the distance you walk and more focused on the fact that you did it!

Hit a 30-day walking streak

TODAY Illustration

Our monthly calendar provides space for you to check off your walk as you complete it each day, and also log the distance you covered.

How you count your steps is up to you. You can choose to wear your pedometer all day long and notate your total step count or stick to just logging the steps you take during exercise. There are benefits to both types of walking: everyday movements (like walking to and from your car, doing chores around your house, etc.) and walking done as exercise. Your lifestyle probably dictates what you can and can’t do in terms of movement, so I want to give the option of tracking whichever way feels best for you!

Because there is so much power in community especially one as supportive and encouraging as Start TODAY we encourage you to submit your step count at the end of the month so that we can share the grand total of steps we all walked together.

Lower body and foot stretch 

Every day after your walk, take five minutes to complete these lower body and foot stretches to help your muscles recover and prevent injury and soreness.

Foot rock stretch

Foot rock

Sitting upright and barefoot, rock onto your heels and flex your toes. Then rock forward onto your arches and onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off of the ground but keeping your toes on the ground. Repeat 10 times.

Toe splay stretch

Toe splay

Sit upright and barefoot with your feet on the ground and knees bent at 90 degrees. Open your toes as wide as you can and hold for 5 seconds. Release. Repeat 10 times. 

Seated hamstring stretch

Seated hamstring stretch

Sitting on a chair or the couch, bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle and extend your left leg. Leave the heel on the ground and flex the foot so that your toes are reaching back toward your shin. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch legs.

Standing achilles stretch

Standing achilles stretch

Stand with your feet as wide as your shoulders in front of a wall. Step one foot forward and one foot back. Keep both knees bent, but reach your back foot’s heel toward the ground to feel a stretch in the back leg’s achilles tendon. Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch legs.

Modified downward facing dog

Modified downward facing dog

Place your palms flat on the wall in front of you. Back your feet away from the wall and bend slightly at the knees until your chest is parallel with the floor. Keep your back in line with your palms so that your upper body forms a straight line. Engage the core to keep your spine straight. Hold for 3 slow breaths.