How to Improve Your Walking Workout for More Gain

Many people think of walking as one of the easiest exercises. It’s especially attractive to people that are just starting a fitness routine because it’s also a cheap way to get fit. But, like with any fitness program, if you do the same thing every day eventually your body will get used the exercise and it becomes less effective.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up walking, what you may need is to find a way to make your walking routine more challenging so that you can continue to enjoy the rewards of health and fitness that come from regular exercise. There are several ways to improve or “change up” your regular walks to increase the benefits.

Increase the Benefits of Walking for Fitness

Change Your Pace

This is a simple way to challenge yourself while walking and it can be done at any time. If you typically walk a mile in 15 minutes then try walking it in less time. You will find that even this little change can increase your heart rate and challenge your body.

Walk Somewhere New

If you typically walk on a track or on sidewalks consider taking a walk in areas that include hills or even try a simple hike. Changing the terrain that you walk on will also change the motion of your body. You will use new or different muscles and add quite a bit your walking workout.

Add in Strength-Training

You can begin strength training during your walks by adding weights during your workout. This can be as simple as throwing on a couple of ankle or wrist weights. Attachable weights are light-weight, cloth bands that are usually filled with sand and easily fitted around the wrists or ankles. You may be surprised when you first try walking with weights what a difference a few pounds can make to your workout.

Walk With All of Your Muscles

You will find that you expend more energy if you swing your arms while walking and swinging your arms naturally increases your speed. Keep the movement natural and don’t clench your fists. Your body should not have to think about what it’s doing.

Walk Longer and Go Further

Don’t be afraid to add distance to your walking routine but make sure that you do it gradually. If you currently walk a mile try adding a quarter of mile to your walk until you feel comfortable with the distance and then continue to add a quarter of mile until you have reached your distance goal.

Walk More Often

If you are currently walking 30 minutes a day but feel that you might not be able to handle a 60 minute walk you can try doing two 30 minute walks during your day. If you walk 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening you have accomplished your 60 minute goal and your body doesn’t care that it was spread out.

These are simple and inexpensive ways to get more out of your walking workout without adding extra stress to your body. Many of these changes will bring about results on their own but you can also combine these concepts in order to have a greater impact on your outcome.

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