A daily walk is a wonderful way to get regular exercise, but if you want to convert this time outside into a full-body workout, there are quite a few tweaks you can make.
Transforming Walking into a Full-Body Workout
It might surprise you to learn that the difference between your traditional brisk walk every day and a full-body workout is not a huge one. It takes only a few simple additions here and there to change the game entirely.
The reason is that walking is a great exercise. It gets you outside and moving, it brings motion to nearly your entire body, and it’s wonderful for your mood and energy levels. Even better, it can be adapted to virtually any fitness level and environment.
Most of the time, if you think about upgrading your walk for more challenge, it usually means that you’ll be thinking about adding more speed, taking a longer walk, or heading out on more challenging or hilly terrain. That said, if you’re looking for a full-body workout and aren’t interested in giving up your time out in the neighborhood and waving at the people you know, there are other tips you can use to get results.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
To begin, make sure you’re already doing things properly. No sense in working on additions if you haven’t got your base strategy sorted out yet.
Make sure you have the right “equipment” for your walk. This means shoes with good support that fit properly – walking shoes, not fashion shoes. Sometimes the look the same but they’re not. If your shoes are ancient, it’s time to replace them. It makes a substantial difference to your ability to get results from your workout. Simply having the right footwear – including both shoes and quality socks – is the most important decision you can make when turning walking into exercise, let alone a full-body workout.
Next, make sure you’re already walking at a pace that is considered exercise. This is not a stroll. By the end of your time out, you should have an increased breathing rate and heart rate. You should feel warmer. You should still be able to talk, but not quite as easily as would have been the case at the beginning. If you haven’t been walking fast enough or long enough, that’s your next step before you increase to a full-body workout.
Ready for a Full-Body Workout? Add Weights!
Now that you’re all set to use some new muscles and get more out of this cardio time, it’s time to add some weights. This is particularly good when it comes to your upper body. Walking focuses mainly on your lower body and, to a certain extent, your core. By adding weights to your wrists (which leave your hands free) or hands (if you already have hand weights or water bottles you can carry), you can engage the muscles in your arms and even bring more activity to those in your core.
Milestones and Traffic Stops
Along your route, you might find that you have to wait to cross the street or for other reasons, those are the perfect opportunity to transform walking into a full-body workout. Add new exercises!
Focus on the muscles that aren’t used as much by walking itself. Start with basic push-ups, sit-ups or planks. Or try doing 60-seconds of jogging a couple of times along the way. These intervals will change the way your body experiences your walk and will add some strength training to the primarily cardio experience. If you don’t have traffic stops, simply mark a couple of milestones along the way with these added full-body workout exercises.
Don’t forget that you can always give yourself a hand by choosing the best diet pills for energy to make sure you’re giving your walks everything you’ve got. That way, you’ll know you’re maximizing your full-body workout every time you head out the door.