When it comes to exercise, it’s tough to beat the benefits of walking. It can help you burn calories and sleep better at night, as well as ease stress and anxiety. And we recently told you, walking can even improve memory as we get older. But if you’re thinking a brisk walk isn’t much of a workout, these pointers from personal trainer and sports therapist Rima Elmowy can turn your daily stroll into a mini workout.
- Practice good posture – Start with the basics because having good form prevents injuries and helps your muscles get the most out of a workout. That means dropping your shoulders so they’re not bunched up around your ears and keeping your core tight.
- Speed it up – Turn it into a power walk to get that heart rate elevated. Your smart watch or Fitbit will tell you your heart rate, but if you don’t have one, Elmowy says you’re in the zone when it becomes harder to speak in full sentences.
- Switch it up – Incorporate some jogging or running intervals to make a huge difference in the impact of your walk.
- Add in a circuit – You don’t have to bring equipment with you, just use what you see on your walk and your body weight. If you pass a bench, do some dips or try some lunges, squats, burpees or push-ups, then carry on with your walk. This expert suggests, “Be versatile in what you do and you’ll get a good workout either way.”
- Use inclines – If you can choose a route that includes hills and/or stairs, you’ll really increase your cardio endurance and work those legs. Elmowy points out that inclines are great for getting your heart rate up and getting in some strength training, too.
- Bring a friend and/or a dog along – It’s easier to slack when no one’s around, so this fitness pro recommends teaming up with a like-minded workout buddy to keep you motivated. And if you have a dog, bring them along to make the walk more playful and fun for both you and them.