Getting fit doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym, embrace complex and convoluted workout routines, or jump onto the latest fad on YouTube. Walking could help you to get fit and into shape faster than you might think! Here are some tips that will help you to walk yourself fit.
Why do you think many people don’t reach their fitness goals? It’s often because they start too big, looking and thinking about the end result rather than embracing the process. Even when you walk, it will pay to start small.
Getting off the bus or the train a stop earlier. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Spending 15 – 20 minutes a day taking a brisk walk. Walking yourself fit can start as simply as that.
Measure Your Heart Rate
The key to getting in shape by walking is to raise your heart rate. It can help to get a heart rate monitor. A smartwatch or a fitness tracker can be a useful alternative to spending the money on a full wearable monitor. This ensures you’re not just walking around for leisure but also actually putting enough pressure on your body to enjoy the benefits of walking.
If you don’t have any way of monitoring your heart rate, a good way to measure how hard you’re walking is if you can still easily have a conversation while you walk, you’re not walking fast enough!
Practice Interval Walking
Interval walking can be super effective in terms of raising your heart rate and getting yourself fit. You can do so by walking faster for a period of time, and then slowing down to your normal speed, and then mixing up your pace accordingly.
A good routine to try is below:
- Walk three minutes at your normal, relaxed walking pace.
- Increase speed for five minutes.
- Slow back down to normal pace for another two minutes.
- Walk faster for another three minutes.
- Slow down for the remaining two minutes.
In just 15 minutes you will have walked a reasonable distance, managed your heart rate up and down, and started to move your fitness in the right direction.
You can create your own timings and manage your changes of pace depending on how far and for how long you want to walk.
Buy Proper Walking Shoes
Your desire to get up and go walking could be short-lived if you’re not properly equipped. That’s why it’s important to spend enough time choosing a great pair of walking shoes. You want a pair of shoes to look great, be comfortable to wear and to function well in different situations. A great walking shoe is also lightweight and water-resistant, allowing you to tackle all types of terrain in all weather.
Many people don’t realize that walking can help to build muscle as well as give a boost to cardiovascular fitness.
Not only can ankle or wrist weights increase your cardio workout and help you burn more calories, over time they will help you to become leaner and to gain more muscle definition. As an alternative to weights, you can always just walk with a filled up backpack instead!
Mix Up Your Walking Routine
It’s important to mix up your walking routine and route. Don’t just walk on straight and flat roads. Not only will you probably get bored quickly, but you will see your fitness improvements plateau, too.
Look for elevated terrain and walks that might be a little more challenging, these will help to keep your routine fresh, keep you moving towards your fitness goals, move more of your muscles and work more of your body.
Do the Right Thing After Your Walk!
Another common shortfall among those pursuing health and fitness improvements is using a trip to the gym or a long walk as justification for grabbing a beer or eating a takeaway.
If you’re going to take the time and effort to get yourself moving, it’s important that you back this up with top notch hydration and nutrition afterwards. Drink water during and immediately after your walk, and ensure you plan to eat something that will repair and refuel you rather than leave your body crying out for nutrients. You might even want to do some gentle stretches or a quick yoga routine if you have the time, too.
Walking Yourself Fit
Walking is a great way to get fit. It’s an easy way to exercise and it’s fun. You don’t just have to walk as an exercise – you can walk around to go shopping, have a picnic with friends and family, or even see the world! Having the right motivation can be a big part of ensuring you stick to your exercising goals. Choose today as the day to start walking yourself fit!
Adam Sherman is the co-founder of Viakix, an American footwear company built on a passion for recreation and an outdoor lifestyle. Viakix footwear combines the best in comfort and support with affordability and fashion to provide quality footwear for outdoor adventurers.