Mayo Clinic Health Library

Walking for fitness: Warm up, cool down

Updated: 03-04-2011

Walking may be an easy and convenient way to exercise, but you'll benefit more by following the four components of a good walking program: 1. Warm up for five minutes. Walk slowly, then increase your pace until you feel warm. 2. Stretch for five minutes. Stretch gently and slowly. Stretch only until you feel a slight tension in the muscle. 3. Walk for at least 30 minutes. 4. Cool down for five minutes. End each walking session by walking slowly, then repeating your stretches. Cooling down gradually reduces stress on your heart and muscles.