Walking is a great way to get in extra activity throughout the week, especially on the days in between your strength and interval training sessions. You can walk just about anywhere and it can be very relaxing to get out in nature.
However, you are not getting the most out of your workout if you consistently walk the same route, at the same pace, most days of the week. The body quickly adapts leading to a plateau. This is not a concern if you walk for health and leisure. But, if you want to challenge your body, improve your fitness level, and lose a few pounds, be sure to change up your walking routine.
5 WAYS TO STEP UP YOUR WALKING ROUTINE:
1. Head For the Hills
Walking up hill is always more difficult than walking on level ground. Pick a walking route that has some hills to challenge yourself more. As your fitness level improves, walk faster or lightly jog on the uphill to boost your heart rate and improve your overall endurance. If you have an opportunity to get down to the River Valley you can incorporate walking much steeper hills and stairs into your routine for even more of a challenge.
2. Go For Speed
Walking faster also challenges your body. After a 5 minute warm up, pick up the pace for 1-5 minutes. Focusing on tightening your abs and a strong push-off to lengthen your stride. After 5 minutes at a faster pace, return to a moderate pace for 1-2 minutes. Repeat for the duration of your walking route. Allow a few minutes of moderate walking at the end of your walk to cool down. Don’t have a timer/watch with you? Pick an object in the distance, such as a distinct tree or telephone pole. Pick up the pace until you reach the object, then return to a moderate pace. After some recovery, pick another landmark and repeat.
3. Add Strength Breaks
While walking is great for your heart and lungs, it does little to sculpt muscles. A great way to change up your walking routine is to add in strength breaks. Walking lunges and squats are great exercises to strengthen your lower body. Push-ups, which can be done with your hands on a bench, as well as triceps dips work the upper body. There are even some outdoor workout stations that can be a good stop along your walk or bring an exercise band along with you that can be easily tied around a tree or pole.
4. Get Wet
Pool walking is a great way to vary your walking routine and challenge new muscles. The water’s resistance will build muscle tone and the water will ease stress on your joints. In the shallow end, walk forwards, backwards and sideways to challenge all the leg muscles. If you choose to walk in deep water, be sure to wear a buoyancy belt so you can maintain proper posture.
5. The Extra Mile
A simple way to challenge your body is to increase your walking distance. If you are comfortable walking five kilometers, walk six next time. The more you walk the more calories you will burn and the more your fitness level will increase.
MOVI COMMUNITY WALKS
Join us for a community walk this Summer and get in some extra activity! Come enjoy the outdoors and hang out with the awesome Movi community!
Upcoming Walk Dates:
Sunday July 26th at 9 am – Lions Park in St. Albert
Sunday Aug 16th at 9 am – Emily Murphy Park, Edmonton
Meet at designated park if you would like to join us! Family and furry friends are welcome and you do not have to be a current Movi member to attend!