Making Your Walk a Workout

Updated: Jul 15

By Chloe Olvera

Walking is one of the simplest and easiest forms of exercise. If you’re looking to start leading a more active lifestyle, consider walking as a way to kick-start your goals. I’m not talking about a 10-second walk from your bed to the refrigerator, but instead a walk made into a workout.

Getting Started

If you're a beginner, start at your comfort level and work your way up to a higher intensity. That being said, the intensity of the walk is key for getting the best health outcomes. This means increasing intensity by getting your heart rate up to a recommended 70-75% maximum heart rate for beginners. Get a heart monitor to track your heart rate. While you’re at it, have a pedometer handy to track your steps (or Fitbit to track both your heart rate and steps!).

During your walk, if you are having trouble breathing then take it easy. On the other hand, if you are breathing quite easily, try walking faster.

Another way to increase intensity is by holding a light 1 to 2-pound weight in each hand. No weights? No problem, grab a full water bottle instead. But don’t get too heavy of a weight that gets you too tired to walk or one that increases your risk for injury. However, we recommend walking faster as the golden way to increase intensity.

How to Maintain Your Pace

Listen to music to get you pumped or a podcast to keep you engaged for longer distances. Get a walking buddy (either human or pet dog) to motivate you. Track your steps to literally show how far you have come.

Setting Goals

To reiterate: intensity is key! Also, try to think of the specific goals you want to achieve. Want to set a consistent schedule? Maybe try out walking 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day. Like to see a tangible goal? Walking 10,000 steps a day is a commonly recommended health guideline. Have a Fitbit to keep track of your speed? Walk briskly at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour.

Now grab some comfortable, supportive walking shoes and have a nice workout!

Want help with losing weight or beating your medical conditions? Contact our team at Beyond Practice and we’ll help you get started and keep you accountable on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

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