Walking on a daily basis surely provides plenty of health benefits. To start with, it can strengthen your cartilages, bones, & joints, boost your cardiovascular health, increase your muscle power & endurance, and remove excess body fat. All of these can help give you better health and a longer life.
Not to mention, walking is the easiest and simplest workout you can do while multitasking. You can just put on your headphones and go for a walk outside, while admiring the view. Or take your dog to the park. When you go home, you won’t even notice that you already burned more calories than expected.
Walking your way to work or the grocery store is also counted.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine. But if you want to increase your energy levels and burn more calories, here are some walking workouts for you.
But just a heads up before we start, the following workouts may be more intense than your regular walking routines. So be prepared for more effort and sweat, which will result to more calorie burn and improved stamina.
1. Glutes toner
Time: 16 minutes
Setting: hills or stairs
Walking up the hill or stairs will activate 23% of your muscles compared to climbing or walking on flat terrain. This will also help firm your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves like your squatting.
Start by some quick stretching exercises, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of average walking pace. Don’t go too fast yet.
Then walk up and down the hill or stairs, before gradually switching to 2 to 3 minutes of brisk walking on a level area.
Finally, try on a faster pace. Repeat the steps from the start and take breaks when you need to. No pressure.
Finish with 2 minutes of easy walking for cooling down, and 3 minutes of stretching to prevent muscle cramps.
2. Drop-it-fast sprint
Time: 25 minutes
Setting: level surface
If you want to burn more calories and melt more fats away, you have to walk quicker and faster.
First, start with 5 minutes of warm up exercise.
Walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes then take a break.
Now, turn around and walk back. At this time, do it at a brisk pace until you reach your starting point.
Remember to slow your speed in order to cool down without breaking your walking routine. Doing this frequently will finally become easier and more tolerable. So make sure to challenge yourself by walking faster and further than your previous turnaround point.
3. Boosting brain power
Time: 20 minutes
Changing your normal walking direction (from forward to backward and alternate sideways) is a good brain exercise while burning more calories and activating unused muscles (like inner and outer thighs).
Start off at the curved part of the track. To warm up, walk at your normal pace all through the full lap.
Next, turn sideways. Your right foot should be in front. Do a shuffle or sidestep around the track’s curved part.
Then, in the straight section, walk backward. This time, the sidestep should be on the next curve, with your left foot in front. Walk forward again in the straight section.
Repeat the steps while walking backward, sideways, forward, and sideways again.
Finish off by walking at a slow pace to cool down. You can opt to do more laps or extend the minutes of walk if you want to take this routine to a higher intensity.
4. Belly-busting routine
Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Setting: level surface
This workout is high-intensity, which can burn more calories and belly fat compared to a moderate-intensity routine.
When walking, focus and aim for your abs by drawing them in towards your spine. Maintain the contraction for each walk without holding your breath.
This workout is quite the same as how you focus on your glutes each time you perform a deep squat. But this time, the focus is on your abs.
Pro tip: think of your legs extending above your navel. Each time your leg swings forward and backward, your hips should follow properly.
This small hip swivel will naturally rotate your torso, therefore tightening your midsection faster to activate more ab muscles.
5. Urban walk
Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Setting: an urban area or a place in your town that has more trees
This last routine is the easiest and fastest compared to the previously mentioned workouts.
You just need 10 to 15 minutes of strolling in the park, a quick hike in the mountains, or walking in the woods.
Anywhere that focuses on more trees, grass, and nature. This will improve your cognitive function and boost your mood by 20% compared to walking on busy streets. The reason? It’s because there are few distractions, pollution, and stressful environments.
For this, you can freely choose to walk at your own pace or at a faster pace. The goal is to appreciate nature more, while discreetly burning more calories and melting those stubborn belly fats.
TIPS TO EFFECTIVELY PERFORM WALKING WORKOUTS:
- Add distance & time in order to start and finish your walking routine on the dot.
- Track your day-to-day progress by writing them on your fitness journal or phone app. This will help show your daily improvements and progress.
- Add intervals by alternating slower pace to faster pace.
- Only take short breaks to prevent over-resting of muscles.
- If you notice that the workouts are becoming too easy for you, walk/move faster, and increase the time. Add stairs and hills to make the workout more intense, but in a careful manner.
- Don’t forget to start and finish each routine through cool-down exercises, stretching, and deep breathing, especially when performing high-intensity workouts.
- Hydrate as needed.
Have a happy walking!
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