Walking is a vital daily exercise that offers numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular fitness, raising energy levels, mood improvement, and immune system performance.
Of all, going for a nice stroll or getting your daily dose of vitamin D is a good enough reason to go outside; therefore, not every walk needs to turn into a strenuous exercise session.
However, stepping up the difficulty of your walk can give you the challenge you crave on those days. Here, top trainers share tips on how to level up your daily steps and add intensity to your walking workout.
How to Add Intensity to Your Walking Workout?
1. Walk with Intention
Record your walking workout plan in writing every week. According to Friberg, "Having a plan and intention will help you reach your goals."
As an example, on Monday you might walk in intervals; on Tuesday you might stroll lightly with a buddy; on Wednesday you might walk consistently for 45 minutes; and on Thursday, you might walk thoughtfully by turning your focus to the outside world.
A walk may last as little as 15 minutes and only require you to take in your surroundings while focusing on what you can see, smell, and touch. Take a few deep breaths as you try to center yourself.
Walking for fitness and being in awe both release happy hormones, so combining the two gives you a double boost. On Friday, wrap up the work week with a music walk in which you keep a steady pace to the beat of the music.
2. Lunge It Out
Why not kill two birds with one stone and integrate lunges straight into your treadmill routine? They are always a great way to enhance your workout.
Because they engage all the main leg muscles, lunges are a fantastic lower-body workout. However, due to the length of the machine, somebody with long legs or who is tall might have to stick to lunges off the walking foldable treadmill.
Start the WalkingPad R2 treadmill very slowly at 0.5 MPH (you can always increase it once you’re comfortable) and wait to lunge until the treadmill moves you back a bit.
Bring your back foot up to meet your front foot before lunging forward once more.
If you choose to experiment with treadmill lunges, experts suggest that you keep a steady pace throughout and don’t slow down suddenly because you could fall off the back of the machine. Always use the safety clip when performing these exercises, just to be safe.
3. Incorporate Interval Training
According to another personal trainer, interval training on a curved treadmill, which alternates between harder and lighter phases of exercise, not only avoids boredom but also works your body harder and faster.
As an example, you could try walking fast so that it feels like 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being an all-out sprint) for 45 seconds, and then walk slowly at an effort level of 3 out of 10 for 30 seconds, repeating this your entire walk. Your cardiovascular and muscular endurance will improve with this cardio walking workout.
Essentially, this is a great option to add to your walking workout plan.
4. Plan Your Music in Advance
According to studies, music may be a strong motivator, especially when it comes to a walking workout. Put technology to work and create playlists to get a specific response from your body.
Choose tracks from your music library that are appropriate for the kind of exercise you want to do. Steady beats are great for endurance workouts, but you might want more powerful music for doing HIIT workouts.
5. Use Your Arms
To achieve a full-body workout, add aerobic exercises that use your arms and legs for the best walking exercise. Including some upper body workouts might help you train your entire body since walking already works your lower body. A simple upper body exercise is "power walking," which involves focusing on swinging your arms as you walk on a WalkingPad treadmill.
Bend your elbows, and swing your arms purposefully as you stride forward. Don’t swing so hard that it throws off your form or balance though. Sometimes, all it takes to make your arms work harder is just a bit of focus.
6. Add a Bit of Weight
Your walks can become more intense if you add a little weight. If you’ve ever had to carry shopping bags or a backpack, you know it can be a lot more challenging than a regular walk.
Be careful not to add too much weight because doing so can weaken your muscles and lead to poor walking posture.
Small weights that you can add to your arms or legs are great ideas if you’re walking for fitness, but these can be harmful and raise your risk of injury or joint damage.
7. Walk Faster
Walking a little bit faster is the most obvious technique to gain more steps and intensity in a given amount of time. Although it may seem simple, trying to walk too quickly may cause you to tire out sooner and not be able to complete your journey.
It’s easy to keep up a fast pace over a short distance, but hard to keep it up for your whole walking workout.
To avoid drastically changing your walking stride as you walk faster, try to increase your walking speed. Listen to your body and walk with a natural stride and speed instead of forcing yourself to take extra short or long strides. Remember that a very small change in pace can really add up over walks of a half-hour or more.
Five Benefits of Treadmill Exercises
Creating your own treadmill routine has many perks. Here are the benefits of walking incline on a treadmill:
1. Burn Calories
Walking or running on a treadmill can help promote weight loss and fat burning. Even if losing body fat is not your top priority, you should talk to your doctor or a personal trainer to determine if burning calories will help you meet other fitness goals. This is definitely the best walking exercise anyone can do.
2. Complete a Cardio Exercise
Make use of this aerobic training machine as the foundation for your cardio workouts. A cardio walking workout promotes cardiovascular health in many ways, such as controlling blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, raising levels of healthy cholesterol, and more. They can also improve mood and your general sense of mental health and wellness.
When using a treadmill, you have complete control over how long and how hard you exercise. The machine can be programmed for various ease or intensity levels in a variety of settings.
Increase the treadmill speed rapidly for a high-intensity interval workout, or keep it slow and steady for a low-impact alternative. Change the incline on the belt if you’d like to simulate walking up a hill.
4. Exercise Indoors
Running outdoors has many benefits, but there are also many perks to consider with indoor fitness. You can do a walking workout in any weather if you have a treadmill in your home gym.
Similarly, at the end of a 30-minute workout, you can immediately move on to a different task or sit down and rest—something that would be harder to do if you’d just walked or ran that far outside.
5. Release Endorphins
Any form of exercise, including treadmill exercises, can spread the "runner's high" or other feel-good endorphins throughout your body, enhancing sensations of well-being or even improving your mood.
Home Gym Equipment You Should Have for a Walking Workout
Below is the best home gym equipment every walker needs:
WalkingPad A1 Pro Treadmill
The WalkingPad A1 Pro Foldable Walking Treadmill is a folding treadmill that you can put under a desk and use to exercise while you work.
Given that the walkable treadmill’s top speed is under 3.728 mph, it has no handles that could get in the way and is only intended to be used for walking.
OVICX Deep Tissue Massage Gun
The energy-dense lithium-ion battery in the OVICX deep massage gun charges in just four to five hours and provides up to seven hours of relaxation. This incredibly portable relaxation tool lets you massage away muscle aches and mental fatigue wherever you are and whenever you want to feel your best.
Hundreds of athletes use OVICX’s massage gun to fight off muscle soreness and prepare them before a big game. Even if you are constantly experiencing muscle soreness from home exercise equipment, a massage gun for lower back pain could be a great choice.
MyKronoz Body Scale
This Swiss-made scale delivers a small electrical current through your body to measure resistance in addition to weighing you and calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). Then, it provides statistics about your weight, body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, and percentage of body water.
Despite being only estimations, they provide useful information about the composition of your body.
Although we're not sure why, the MyScale also gathers data on your heart rate, something that the majority of smart scales do not. After all, the scale won't be recording your resting heart rate until you've walked over to it.
Given that you can measure that more easily when using fitness trackers and smartwatches, we’re not convinced MyScale needs a heart rate sensor.
Revbalance FIT Balance Board
The best affordable balance boards on the market right now are produced by Revolution Balance Boards. This company provides a large variety of diverse board styles targeted at various audiences. We are confident in recommending Revolution Balance Boards to anyone wishing to enhance their balance in a fun way after a month of use.
OVICX Indoor Cycle
An exercise bike takes no training and is easy to use; however, it can be uncomfortable for long periods of exercise. Although riding doesn't prevent osteoporosis as well as a weight-bearing exercise, it does offer a great cardiovascular workout.
Choose a type with a toe clip and a comfortable, adjustable seat. Find out whether you can replace the seat with a padded model that you can purchase separately if it is too hard.
Cycling bikes are sturdy and well-made; they are great for working out at home, toning muscles, assisting with weight loss goals, and improving your heart and lungs as well. They are an upgrade to standing desk exercise equipment.
Because of its micro-adjustable function, the OVICX bike can be used by anyone, regardless of their weight, height, or body size. While the handle includes multiple grip surfaces to accommodate different workout methods, postures, and speeds, the integrated LCD monitors track exercise progress.
It has a saddle and an infinite magnetic resistance mechanism in addition to its many customizable features. This spinning bike comes with a three-year warranty from the OVICX customer support team.
Considering its price, it performs admirably, rides quietly and smoothly, is safe, and has a modern, appealing look.
To add more weight as you progress in your walking workout, look for ankle weights that are gently padded and have pockets for ½-pound or 1-pound weight bars. Usually, ankle weight sets weigh 5 to 10 pounds. Depending on the exercises you plan to do, one cuff may be enough.
Start with sets of weights as low as 2 pounds and 5 pounds or 5 pounds and 8 pounds, depending on your current strength. Add heavier weights as needed.
Dumbbells with padded center bars and D-shaped weights are easy to hold. There are also kits that allow you to screw weights onto a central bar and weighted wristbands.
Weights are a good place to save cash by checking sports resale stores.
The Bottom Line
A great way to get healthier and more active is to keep track of your steps and buy a small treadmill for walking. You can intensify your walks and increase your walking workout in the same number of steps with a little bit of planning and effort.
Furthermore, you can try to increase your intensity or walk quicker to diversify your workouts. It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you're moving!
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