10 Ways to Fire-Up Your Walking Workout
Get ready to turn your typical walking workout into supercharged steps by adding a few smart strength moves. You’ll burn fat, tone muscle and peel off pounds. It’s the easiest shape-up ever!
Check in before you head out
Take a moment to tune in to your body and mind before you take a step. It’s important to adjust your walk based on how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling drained, head out for a stress relieving stroll. If you’re feeling great, then push your pace.
Instead of hitting the gym, walk around your neighbourhood or check out a local trail. Just being outdoors helps you tune in to your surroundings, which inspires more mindfulness and a better sense of what’s happening in your body.
Take precautions on the treadmill
If you are relegated to the gym, avoid gripping the treadmill’s rails – something that can happen if you go too fast. Walking requires your top and bottom half to move. If your torso is stiff, you’re more likely to get hurt.
Your gym probably has a row of plasma TVs in front of the treadmills to keep you entertained. But it’s not a good idea to watch them. Watching TV or even listening to music on your iPod increases your odds of just going through the motions. Fitness experts say that you’ll burn more calories if you stay focused on your workout.
Find more bliss through your breath
Just as you do in a yoga class, take a moment before you start walking to deepen your breath. When you start to walk, breathe in a pattern that relates to your steps. Making the connection will transform a regular old walk into a moving meditation with real stress relieving benefits.
Create an image in your mind
Want a more chiseled abs? Just visualise yourself as a snowman melting away to reveal a ripped, muscular body every time you go for a walk. Visualization techniques like this are a great way to integrate your mind into your workout, which leads to better – and often quicker – results. Just make sure the image you call to mind is a positive one. If you focus on what you don’t want, you’ll get more of what you don’t want.
Find shoes made for walkin’
Daunted by endless options? Remember that a comfortable fit is the most important factor in a walking shoe. Quick tip: Try shoes on with extra thick socks which simulate how much your feet could swell when you walk for longer distances.
This tried-and-true advice bears repeating here: If you have an end-point in sight – whether it’s a 5km race or a three-day Breast Cancer walk – you’ll be more likely to stay motivated and be consistent with your training.
Set an intention before your takeoff
Decide to dedicate your walk to something specific. Your intention might be to increase your awareness of your breath or increase feelings of love toward a friend. Recalling your dedication can help you keep going when you feel like slowing down or giving up.
Every so often, take a barefoot walk. It may feel weird at first, but this subtle change can pay off big. Walking on grass or sand can help you burn more calories, improve your balance and strengthen your foot and ankle muscles.