Are you getting the most benefits you can from your walk? If you’ve gotten into a good walking routine, you may start becoming restless, and feeling like you’d like to push yourself a little further. The solution? Intervals! When you incorporate intervals and strength-training moves into your walk, you’ll not only make it more interesting, you’ll also challenge your muscles and give your metabolism a boost. Here, we offer some suggestions for making your walk a more effective workout.
- Begin with a warm up. Stretch before you get started, and then start your walk at a regular walking pace, in order to get your legs completely warmed up.
- Intersperse your walk with fast and slow intervals. Start by walking as quickly as you can for two minutes, following it with one minute of a slow pace, repeating this sequence five times in a row. Later in your walk, alternate between one minute of fast and one minute of slow for fifteen minutes.
- Break up your walk with some strength training. Try planking, lying face-down with your hands under your shoulders: push yourself into plank position on hands and toes, hold for 20 seconds, relax for 3-5 seconds, and repeat 10-15 times. Another strength exercise is the toe touch, in which you stand with your hands by your sides, then squat down, reach down with your hands, and touch your toes before swinging your arms up to the sky, jumping up to a hop, and then repeating this 10-15 times. Finally, try the hip bridge, lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and arms extended by your sides and hands face down on the ground; lift your ups up and down 25-30 times, squeezing at the top of each movement. By inserting these exercises into your walk, you’ll be building your strength and stamina.
- Finish strong with alternating walking lunges. For one minute, alternate between your right and left feet, lunging as deep as you can, before walking at a fast pace for four minutes, using your arms to increase your speed. Repeat this pattern four more times.
- If you’re not up to a long walk, cut yourself some slack. You can get the benefits of interval walking by alternating three minutes of fast walking and three minutes at a more leisurely pace, for ten minutes at a time, three times a day.
Walking is an excellent exercise, and exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. At our clinic, we work to help our patients create their healthiest lives, traveling the path of optimal wellness. To learn how we can help you reach your wellness goals and live your best life, visit our website or call today for a free consultation.