Walking is a great form of exercise. It’s not just for beginners, but for those that are advanced as well. Walking can be used as your primary workout for the day, or as a simple leisure-time activity. Using walking as leisure-time activity can help to decrease sedentary time throughout the day. Often times when simple walking becomes “too easy”, many move onto running. Increasing intensity can help to continue improving your fitness levels, as your body is becoming more fit.
Unfortunately in fitness, you cannot continue the same routine forever and still expect newer results overtime. It is important to continue to challenge your body (these challenges don’t even have to be large). What about those that aren’t runners, and just love walking? No, they do not have to become runners. Yes, there are ways to ante up their walks, and continue to improve their fitness levels.
So how can I make my walks more challenging?
- Add weights
Adding weights while going for a walk is one easy way to add some intensity. Additional weight can come in many forms. Weighted vests are great because they don’t alter your normal gait movement.
- Add incline
An incline is another way to increase intensity. Inclines not only increase cardiovascular training, but also adds in some strength training as well. If you are outside take the hills, and if you are on a treadmill increase the incline.
- Add speed
Addition of speed may be one of the easiest ways to increase intensity while walking. Focus less on it being a race, and more on increasing the intensity of the workout. To do so, pay attention to your stride. Keeping a normal stride, and increasing turnover will really make you work.
- Add intervals
Alternate between high and low intensities when walking. Interval training can yield much greater effects than simple steady-state cardio. This is also a way for beginners to build up to higher walking intensities.
- Walk outside
There is nothing like running and walking on actual terrain and pavement! Treadmills will make your walks easier. Don’t lose out on a good workout, and get outside or on an indoor track.
Article written by GUADS member Breanna with contributions from www.sparkpeople.com