Maximize your walking workout with added benefits by incorporating these strategies into your routine. From interval training to engaging your upper body, discover ways to enhance your experience.
1. Add Intervals
Interval training involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with periods of active recovery.1 Here’s how you can integrate intervals into your walking workout:
- Warm-Up: Start with a brief warm-up to prepare your body.
- Moderate Pace: Walk at a moderate pace for 2 minutes.
- Faster Pace: Increase your pace for 1 minute, then return to a moderate pace.
- Landmark Goals: Set small goals, like walking faster to specific landmarks such as the end of the block or the next tree.
- Repeat: Repeat the sequence throughout your walk.
2. Engage Your Upper Body
Enhance your walking workout by involving your upper body. Here are some tips:
- Arm Swinging: Swing your arms with good form, moving from the shoulders, not the elbows.2
- Nordic Walking Poles: Consider adding Nordic walking poles to your routine to improve upper-body strength and flexibility.3
3. Utilize Varied Terrain
Varying the terrain can add a new dimension to your walking workout. Here are some suggestions:
- Incline and Hill Workouts: Incorporate inclines and hills, either outdoors or on a treadmill.
- Nature Trails and Beaches: Explore nature trails, green belts, or sandy beaches to challenge your muscles.
- Stairs or Stadium Steps: Add muscle activation to your workout by climbing stairs or stadium steps.
4. Incorporate Resistance
Adding resistance exercises can enhance your walking workout. Here are some ideas:
- Midpoint Exercises: Choose a midpoint in your walk to perform bodyweight exercises.
- Utilize Surroundings: Use benches, fence posts, or playground equipment to add resistance exercises such as standing pushups, tricep dips, or wall sits.
- Outdoor Fitness Circuit: If available, use an outdoor fitness circuit for added variety and challenge.
5. Extend Your Walk
Increase the benefits of your walking workout by going a little further each time. Here are some strategies:
- Destination Walk: Choose a specific destination or change your route to keep things interesting.
- Team Up: Gather a team of friends, family, or coworkers to Walk Across Texas or take a Walk Through Texas History.
- Daily Extension: Try to walk just one block further each day to gradually increase your workout duration.
Revitalize your walking workout with these innovative strategies. Whether you’re adding intervals or engaging your upper body, these tips can help you enjoy a more comprehensive and beneficial walking workout.
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- American Council on Exercise. Interval Training. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/everyone/blog/6615/interval-training/. Published January 8, 2009. Accessed February 6, 2023.
- Wilson MA. Walking and arm pumping – a total body workout. Sit and Be Fit. https://www.sitandbefit.org/walking-arm-pumping/. Published October 25, 2021. Accessed February 6, 2023.
- Takeshima N, Islam MM, Rogers ME, et al. Effects of nordic walking compared to conventional walking and band-based resistance exercise on fitness in older adults. J Sports Sci Med. 2013;12(3):422-430. Published 2013 Sep 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3772584/