If you ever feel like you need to relax, recharge your battery and get in better shape, but just haven't found the time, the answer might be simpler than you think. Walking can be an amazing form of exercise for anyone who wants a quick pick-me-up for the body and brain, as well as for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Even a daily 10-minute stroll can do wonders and give you a great feeling for up to 12 hours later.
Whether you want to burn fat, boost energy, lift your mood, or just get a bit more toned we have the workout tips for you:
You could go down a size in a month or two by adding high-intensity walks to your weekly schedule. Simply go out for a 10 minute routine of fast, highly intense walks on 3 non-consecutive days a week. Throughout the rest of the week, you can do moderately intense activities for about 30 minutes per day. These walks will work even better before or after other cardio workouts and as always, the more you work out, the better you'll feel.
High-intensity walks are attained by going on repeated 3-minute intervals during which you walk fast, aiming for an exertion level of about 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, followed by 3 minutes of slow strolling.
Is it too cold outside? Is it too hot outside? Your favorite TV show just started? Treadmills are the answer to all of those. No need to worry about the weather, darkness or anything else, just focus on yourself. Another bonus of the treadmill is that you can see your progress in speed and distance which will help you get more motivated. Here is a great half an hour workout that can burn more than 150 calories:
Start by warming up with a 5-minute walk at normal speed, then walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes (but don’t run). Note how far you went and turn around, walking back to your starting point at a brisk pace. When walking back, your speed should be lower than your walking sprint and you should slow down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, try to walk faster and go farther than you did the last time until you are happy with your time and distance.
The Weekend Walk:
This 60+ minute workout can crank up your post-exercise calorie burn nearly fivefold compared to a 30-minute walk or other short exercises. And did I mention that you will burn nearly 350 calories during the walk itself? Plan your route so you will enjoy your surroundings (nature walks have been shown to be the healthiest and most effective) or even meet up with friends. Nothing is better than some company on a long walk like this. Just don’t forget to bring some water with you - dehydration is no joke!
Indoor Leg Workout:
If you don’t have a treadmill, and you don’t really want to buy one either, then you can just as easily use the stairs at home to get a good workout. The routine takes about 5 minutes and can be performed daily:
1. Start by walking up and down one flight normally.
4. Climb the stairs two steps at a time and go down normally but quickly, using each step.
5. Run up the stairs and walk down normally.
6. Repeat numbers 4 and 5 another four times.
7. At the bottom, place your right foot on the first or second step, bend your knees, and lower into a lunge. Keep the right knee directly over the ankle as you do so. Push off with the right foot to return to start. Repeat with your left leg and then alternate legs until you do 20 lunges in total.
8. Walk up and down normally one time to relax and finish off with some stretching.
You can add this simple change to your daily walks to zero in on shaping your abs. The recommended time for this workout is about 10 minutes at first, adding more time as you begin to feel it isn't too taxing on you.
When walking, focus on drawing your abs in, toward your spine, but don’t hold your breath. It might help to imagine that your legs extend up above your navel. Try to maintain the contraction throughout your walk. If you feel it's too much, release it for a short break while still walking, and resume after a minute or two. The slight hip swivel will make your lower torso rotate, activating more ab muscles and burning more calories.
This workout has a lot to do with your mind, not just your body. Add these easy steps to your walk and you will be much more calm and relaxed when you are done.
1) Focus on your feet. Imagine the firm ground beneath you as each foot rolls from heel to toe with each step you take. Try to keep this awareness of your steps for 2 to 3 minutes without getting distracted.
2) Turn your attention to breathing. As you walk, lift your torso and pull your shoulders back to stand upright and increase lung capacity. As you inhale, think of the energy you are giving your body and your mind, then exhale all of the tiredness and pain.
3) Mentally speak to yourself. Think about the fresh air and healthy workout you are doing, focus on the good things and if you find yourself wandering off into bad territory, just go back to focusing on your feet.
In just 5 minutes, mother nature can work wonders on your mood and physical well being. If possible, go for short lunchtime strolls in parks or mountain areas. It has been found to improve memory and attention 20% more than a walk-in an urban environment, due to fewer distractions and cleaner air.
If you have no hills or tracks near your home then this treadmill routine can give you the same fat-burning experience of an uphill walk in just 25 minutes.
It's not shocking to hear that walking uphill can activate 25% more muscle fibers than just strolling on a level terrain. It might be harder, but that is why it's called a challenge. Find a hill to add to your walk, preferably one that takes at least 2 to 2½ minutes to climb, and try this workout.
First, warm-up at an easy walking pace for 5 to 10 minutes and then walk up and down the hill. After you return to level terrain, do 2 minutes of brisk walking and go back to the hill climb. Repeat both the hill and level walks for your desired workout length and finish up with 5 minutes of easy walking to cool down.
And, as always, don't forget to bring water!