If you’ve been lax in fitness or are out due to the pandemic, good for you! You may have helped save someone’s life – including yours. But now that we are close to more people getting vaccinated and getting outdoors is safer, now is the time to get some fresh air and wander into a less active, more active lifestyle. As more people get vaccinated, more people are turning out to enjoy the day – especially now as summer approaches!
And while walking seems more like a recreational sport, you can actually make this walking more difficult, as you can consider it exercise and burn a good amount of calories. Here are the best ways to turn this walk into a calorie-burning exercise that can help keep your heart and heart in check.
Add weights or some resistance
If you want to increase this burn, go for a walk in a heavy jacket or hold a pair of weights for a “brisk walk”. This will raise your heart rate and help you burn more calories while you are walking. You can also stop every five minutes and use those weights to do some squatting exercises, for example, before resuming walking and repeating the exercise again.
You can even use booty bands to take a pose, wear one and do some lower body exercises, like squats, side lunts or walking. Since the straps are light, they are easy to carry with you while you walk or just hold in your hand, even. Resistance bands are a great way to propel yourself a little more forcefully without the risk of injury from heavy weights.
Make HIIT periods
HIIT stands for high intensity, and the HIIT action focuses on sprints or short bursts of high intensity action. While walking, discover a way to add HIIT movement in time intervals. You can pause and do jumping, high knees, folded or squat jumps, for example – something that makes you feel windy – and then resume walking. You can do this every five minutes or so. This complements the workout / relaxation method of exercise, increases flexibility and gets the heart rate up for an overall better functioning of the pulmonary system.
Mix in running
If you can handle running or jogging, pause every five to ten minutes and go running or jogging. You can choose the amount of time you can run or jog, or you can go through the sights, such as when you get to a specific store on your way or when the street or bridge is lit up. Running will add more cardio as you settle back into your run to cool off before hitting that short run again. This is very effective in giving walking a bit of a fitness boost without turning it into a full-on workout. Ideal for returning more physical condition without risking injury.
Hold your dog or your child
If you have a dog or child who still needs a pram to roam around, take them for a walk for that extra resistance. Pushing in the stroller can increase your burn, and you can even throw a Frisbee or whatever until your dog has run in its spray and you’ll need to run as well. You can even take your dog to the park afterward and really play – it can be an after-walk exercise! If you have hills while walking, pushing the stroller is a great way to get a little extra back exercise, especially if you dig in every step and use the strength of your lower body to propel the stroller forward.