Make Your Walking Workout More Intense

During lockdown it’s important to keep active for both your physical and mental wellbeing and being outside and getting some fresh air can help you #feelgood.

You might choose a gentle stroll around the garden (Multi-tasking tip - you could even get out your lawn mower and combine exercise and gardening in one!) or for a higher impact workout, try our tips on making your walking workout more intense.  

Tip #1 – Add Weights

Don’t worry if you don’t have any weights, grab a backpack and add a few items from around the house, for example, a couple of books and a bottle of water. Make sure you only add a SMALL amount of weight, around 2-3 pounds should be enough to make your workout more intense.  Ensure the weight is evenly distributed so as not to affect your posture.  

Multi-tasking tip – If there are essential bits of shopping you need, grab an empty backpack and head to your local shop. Carrying your shopping home will intensify your workout and you are likely to only get the things you went for in the first place 

Tip #2 – Find A Hill 

Adding an incline to your walk can help boost your metabolism and the calories you burn. Walking uphill also uses different leg muscles to walking on flat ground so can help strengthen the front of your thigh and buttock muscles. The higher the incline, the more you will challenge the muscles! 

Don’t forget the decline! Walking downhill can be as challenging as walking uphill as it can put more strain on your knees and ankles. Going downhill gravity can make you move faster than normal. Make sure you shorten and slow down your steps, don’t lean back, keep a straight posture or lean slightly forward and bend your knees slightly.  

Tip #3 – Change Your Speed 

Challenging yourself to walk a little faster will get you heart rate going and boost your metabolism. Incorporate intervals by walking at your usual pace for two minutes, then increase this to a faster, more intense pace for 30 seconds. Repeat this for the duration of your walk. Use your arms, by bending your elbow and swinging forward as you walk to help with your speed. 

Tip #4 – Do Some Bodyweight Exercises 

Introduce some bodyweight exercise during your walking workout. Try to fit four or five different exercises in throughout your walk for two minutes each time. You can mix up the duration, for example 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest x 2 or 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest x 4.  Here are a few bodyweight exercises to try. 

  • Plank 
  • Lunges 
  • Squats  
  • Press ups  
  • Sit ups 

Tip #5 – Race Yourself 

Although it’s nice to mix up the route you walk, try to do at least one route the same each week. Make sure you time yourself and the next time you walk the same route, push yourself to finish that little bit quicker! 

We hope this has given you some inspiration for your next walking workout. A gentle reminder, please don’t forget the importance of Social Distancing.