Leisurely walks are a great excuse for leaving your house and getting some fresh air, but they’re also good opportunities to burn calories.
2020 might be the year walks officially became cool. Popularized by everyone who’s currently in lockdown (basically all of us), walks give us a break from our roommates and homes and allow us to clear our minds and relax.
Walks, even when done without fitness in mind, can be incredibly soothing and effective. They can make us feel better and provide us with a much needed dose of perspective. Still, they’re much easier to pull off than a regular workout because they feel like a leisurely activity.
Since many are lacking cardio options for workouts, walks can be an easy solution, just as long as you keep in mind that you’re walking for fitness and not for fun. While it can be both, if you want to get a sweat on, you’re going to have to put in some effort. Here are 5 tips that can help you transform your daily walks into a cardio workout:
Wear the right gear
Clothes always put you in a proper mindset, especially when we’re talking about fitness. Instead of going out in your jeans and a t-shirt, try to put on some workout clothes and running shoes, which will push you to walk further and for longer periods of time.
Take a longer path
If you want to burn some calories on your walk, keep track of your walking distance and pace, and push yourself to walk for longer periods of time. Try using an app like Runkeeper, which tracks all the necessary data, and look for a longer route. Push yourself to get at least 30 minutes of brisk walking under your belt at least three times a week. If you want to increase that number, add a couple of extra minutes per walk.
Pay attention to your form
Form is important for running and walking, making the process easier on your joints while also reducing the odds of falls and injuries. Engage your core and focus on the work that your muscles are doing, noticing improvement along the way.
Carry weights or resistance bands
Challenge yourself by adding weights or resistance bands to your walks. These don’t have to be expensive or too heavy, they can simply be wrist weights or weighted vests, which add some strain to your body. Start out with something small and manageable and make sure that you feel comfortable before you head outside.
There’s no need to run or to walk fast when there’s elevation, which naturally makes you burn more calories without having to increase your pace. Walking in incline and in decline target different muscles in your body and can even be more challenging than a straightforward run. Even more challenging? Find a set of stairs to run on your walk.