It may not spark an adrenaline rush, but walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise that shouldn’t be underestimated. With the right moves, you can make the most out of your walk.
Whether it’s commuting to work or walking your dog, it’s a great way to sneak in makeup workouts. Plus, there’s less chance of injury than its speedy cousin running. Check out our tips for making the most out of your walks:
1. Walk briskly, my friend.
According to Discovery Fit & Health, if you take a brisk walk covering 3.5 miles in an hour, you can burn about 280 calories. When repeated each day, you’ll burn about 3,900 calories — more than a pound of fat — every two weeks! Just make sure your posture is tall and relaxed, and swing your arms so they come up to your chest and go down to your hips. Keep your head high and look forward (you know, for oncoming traffic and whatnot).
2. Become a racewalker.
Brisk not badass enough for you? Ok wise-guy, try racewalking. Racewalking is basically a faster version of regular walking. It’s even an Olympic sport. Technique is very important in racewalking. Points are awarded based on how fast you complete a fixed distance. The rules? Your back toe cannot leave the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched, and your supporting leg must straighten from the point of contact with the ground and remain straightened until the body passes directly over it.
3. Resistance is (not) futile.
Add hills along your walk and you’ll be sculpting a fantastic tushy, toning up your thighs and calves, and burning more calories than on a flat surface.
4. Find the right walking shoe.
Yes, there is a difference between running shoes and walking shoes. New Balance has a great explanation of this on its website. Walking shoes are designed to allow a greater range of motion through the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support than running shoes to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot.
5. Join a walking club.
Like any other exercise, when you have a buddy, it’s easier to keep up a workout routine. The American Heart Association offers walking clubs in your area. (Or if there’s none in your area, you can start your own!) Go on scheduled walks with friends and neighbors, set goals and celebrate your accomplishments. Click here to sign up and learn more.
Out of town? You can still take a walkabout in an unknown town with the American Heart Association Walking Paths app for Android and iPhone. You can search for the nearest walking path updated by other users. Just type in your ZIP code and start walking!