Elevate Your Daily Walk
Most of us manage to get out for a walk every day, after all, it’s an easy, low commitment way to get our steps in. Even if you don’t, it’s not a stretch to think it’s something you could feasibly try and squeeze into your day, whether it’s done under the guise of a catch up with a friend, a walk with baby and buggy or just a solo stroll to get some fresh air in between Zooms. So, if you are planning on getting out and about, why not upgrade your regular walk to something more akin to a full body workout with the help of these simple hacks.
Pay attention to your muscles
Although walking is second nature and something we automatically do without thinking, challenge yourself to get more out of it by actively engaging different muscles as you walk. Swinging your arms back and forth in a controlled manner can help, as can purposefully tightening your glutes and drawing in your waist. Not only will the last two help target new muscle groups, engaging your core and making your glutes work harder will also help improve your posture too.
Add extra weight
To get your body to perform above its normal baseline, it needs to be challenged. Adding extra resistance in the form of ankle, wrist or waist weights and belts could be just the thing if you need to up the ante on your walk. Steer clear of anything too bulky and inconvenient and start slowly before building up to heavy weights or more than one set at a time.
Pick up the pace
In order to burn more calories and fat, you need to start moving faster. Turn your usual amble into something more intense by taking your average speed up from around 2-3mph to closer to 4-5mph. As well as getting your heart rate up and hopefully breaking you into a sweat, it’ll help burn more calories too. If you’re not a runner then take this one gradually but starting to slowly incorporate some light jogging intervals into your daily walk will also help burn the calories and bring about changes to your fitness levels and body.
Walk on an incline
Changing where and how you walk is another great way to not only mix it up but also reap some muscle-building rewards. Walking on rocky paths that require more hard work or walking up a steeper incline will target different muscle groups in your calves, glutes and thighs than just walking on a simple flat surface. It’ll also keep you interested and your mind engaged which is an important part of any fitness regime.
Dress the part
Wearing the appropriate gear for exercise isn’t just a frivolity, it can actually help engage your brain better and support enhanced performance and results. Instead of just wearing any old thing to walk in, investing in some proper workout leggings, a sports bra, or a good sturdy pair of trainers or walking boots will not only help switch your mind to fitness mode and keep you feeling positive, they’ll offer better support and could reduce the risk of injuries.
Go that little bit further
Another way to challenge yourself and get your body and your head out of your comfort zone is to go that little bit extra. Start slowly with whatever length of walk you’re used to but at the end of the first week, ramp it up by extending the duration. The extra length you do is up to you, for some beginners that might be an extra five minutes, while for others it could be more like an extra hour. Whatever it looks like, keep at it and keep setting yourself new but realistic goals. Not only will you reap the fitness benefits, your mind will feel stronger and more resilient too.