Walking is perhaps one of the best exercises for losing weight. It’s free and almost anyone can do it, because you can alter your pace to your level. If you’ve been walking for awhile, though, you may be looking for some ways to break up the monotony. Incorporating different ways of walking or of looking at walking as an exercise can help you to stay focused and improve your fitness.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves doing short bursts of a highly intense activity, and then recovering at a slower pace. You can do this in your walking workout by walking as fast as you can for 20 to 30 seconds, and then slowing down to a normal pace for about 90 seconds. Alternatively, you can sprint instead of walking fast.
Use a pedometer to track the number of steps that you take throughout the day and aim to reach 10,000 steps on a daily basis. This allows you to squeeze your exercise in even though you may not be formally exercising. For example, it may encourage you to park further away from the door or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
While you’re walking, add some calisthenic exercises to increase your muscle mass as you get a cardio workout. For example, after a five-minute warm up, do 20 lunges on each side, recover for a three-minute walk, stop and then do 20 squats, continuing your walking after that.
Going for a hike challenges your muscles more than walking on a treadmill or around a track. You may have to walk up and down hills or on uneven terrain, which increases the difficulty. Best of all, you’re out in nature and can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area.
Walking backward requires you to use different muscles, which can help you to improve muscle tone and burn calories. While you probably don’t want to spend your entire workout walking backward, you can throw in the occasional backward minute to give yourself a challenge.
Walk At Home
“Walk at Home” by Leslie Sansone is a series of exercise DVDs that mimic walking in the comfort of your own home. You can choose the level that you want, increasing the “distance” that you walk as you become fitter. The exercise routines also incorporate calisthenic moves, which build your muscles.