You don't need to be thrashing the tarmac to feel the benefits of exercise. It may be second nature but walking is one of the best workouts to improve your fitness levels and get active.
1 Go outside
According to study from the University of Michigan, nature walks are linked to enhanced mental health and positivity, as well as significantly lowering levels of depression and feelings of stress.
2 Add some weight
Make your leisurely walk a little more challenging with a set of light weights or a resistance band. Not only will you burn 5 to 15 percent more calories you’ll also encourage greater muscle activation and tone up your thighs and bum.
3 Set a goal
If you have an end goal in sight with a specific time frame you’re more likely to find the motivation to keep going. Penning you process in a journal will allow you to feel a sense of pride of how far you’ve come and give you the push to exceed your expectations.
4 Hit it
Mixing up your speeds will raise your heart rate which will, in turn, improve your fitness levels and torch fat at a higher rate. Try this workout plan to make the most of your march:
40 minute walking plan
0-5 minutes Easy warm-up walk
5-15 minutes Moderate brisk walk
15-17 minutes Brisk walk
17-27 minutes Moderate walk
27-29 minutes Brisk walk
29-39 minutes Easy cool-down walk
5 Head for the hills
What if you stopped avoiding that scary looking incline and tackled it head-on? By forcing muscles to work harder you’ll burn calories, lose weight and tone the backs of your legs, thighs and glutes. Unlike running it won’t put a strain on your joints but do make sure you have a lengthy stretch afterwards to avoid injury.
6 Stretch it out
Stretching is just as important before and after a walk. Using a few yoga-based moves such as downward dog and triangle pose will help flush lactic acid out of your muscles which reduces stiffness and keeps you feeling ready to get out there again the next day.
7 Buddy up
There’s nothing better than a good catch-up with friends over a cuppa. But why not shake things up and take the gossip to the great outdoors? Researchers at the Kansas State university found that those who workout with a friend or partner increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent. This is because you’re less likely to cancel and your mind will be on the conversation rather than the activity itself making it a no-brainer!
8 Take it off-road
Varying your terrain will not only make the journey more interesting but it’ll also keep your muscles guessing. By opting for a rougher trail route, you’ll engage your core and use different muscles in your legs to keep you steady.