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4 Ways to Turn Your Walk into A Killer Workout | miniTREAD®

man and woman walking for exercise

Walking has never been my favorite thing in the world. I have always had the thought in my mind, that if I'm going to work out, I want it to be high intensity. However, the older I get, the more I realize how tough that can be on your body. So, when I scrolled across this walking article, I was super interested to see what they had to say about spicing up a walk. There are four major things that can really make a difference when you go for a walk, and they are all things we can easily do.

1. Form

person walking with proper form from heel to toe

 

It is best suggested that you should walk with a heel-toe method. I was in marching band, so I’m familiar with walking in this form. However, for those of you that don’t know, your heel should touch the ground first, then follow through by rolling to your toes. This reduces the shock impact on your joints and provides better muscle engagement. Avoid flat-footed steps or striking the ground with your toes first. Once you have established a decent form, it will also help you increase your speed.

2. Speed

man running very fast

 

For beginners, like me, you should shoot for a 20-minute mile pace. Once you hit that benchmark, work towards a 15-minute mile pace. This should bring you to where you want to be. Another way to gauge your speed is to simply walk at a pace where you are slightly out of breath but can still carry a conversation. Either option is a good starting pace for beginners.

3. Challenging Inclines

Person walking uphill on an incline

 

Okay, trust me I get it — walking up hills is awful… I will be the first to admit it [Insert dreadful look here]. If you want to maximize your walks, a hill or two wouldn’t hurt. It has amazing benefits like raising the heart rate, increasing calorie burn, and leg muscle activation. That’s why standing treadmills and even the miniTREAD® have incline settings.  One tip I found on walking up hills, is to slightly lean forward, to keep your momentum going with you. Just think, once you get to the top of the hill you get to relax and recover as you go back down.

4. Interval Training

Picture of chalk board with text saying High Intensity Interval Training with healthy snacks and weights next to it

 

For those of you that don’t know what intervals are — don’t feel bad I didn’t know until last summer — it is simply changing the intensity of your walk by defined time stamps. So, say for one minute you walk at a slower pace (20 min/mile) and the next minute you walk at a faster pace (15 min/mile). You can even incorporate additional exercises like jumping jacks to quickly raise the heart rate and then recover. Intervals can be spread out over minutes or seconds; it all depends on what you feel is best for you. Here is a sample interval schedule for a 15-minute walk:

 

Duration 
Exercise
5 mins
Walk at a medium pace
1 min
Jumping jacks
5 mins
Walk at a medium pace 
1 min 
Squats
3 mins
Walking cooldown 

 

It’s the best of both worlds especially for those of us that already have busy schedules. In fact, Dr. Hyman created a 7-minute full body interval workout that will kick your butt. Even though this is more intense than walking, you can see how interval training maximizes your time and effort.   

two women sweating from a killer walk workout

 

Next time you go for a walk, focus on proper form, and try at least one of these other tips. I personally will be implementing all four of them, and I’m sure I will follow up to let you know how it goes! Just remember speed, form, intervals, and maybe a baby tiny hill. Turn your daily walk into a killer work out!

Keep on Muving!

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