Walking is so incredibly underrated. In the fitness-obsessed world we live in right now, people tend to lean into the hard-hitting staples of running, HIIT workouts, strength training, and, heck—even trampoline workouts to get their sweat on and their steps in. But you know what? The simple act of walking can count in your fitness game, too.
Hear me out: Walking is like pre-running. It’s the absolute basic form of moving. And it whisks you from point A to B, while lifting your heart rate (hey, it’s more than when you just stand or sit). So it’s without a doubt a workout modality that counts towards your daily steps and wellness regimen.
“Walking in general is a great aerobic exercise that burns calories, strengthens your cardiovascular endurance, and improves your mental health and wellness,” says John Thornhill, a master trainer at Aaptiv. “It’s a great cardio addition to a healthy fitness routine.” See, even a fitness trainer’s down with the practice.
In fact, in support of the OG workout of the world, workout streaming platforms are now even offering guided walks—right alongside their guided runs and guided strength training sessions. It’s legit. “Walking is an excellent form of cardio if you do it with intensity and intention,” adds Thornhill, who has his own walking workouts such as ‘Groovy Walk’ and ‘Walking on Incline.’ “A casual stroll in the neighborhood may not make you sweat or spike your heart rate, but if you incorporate HIIT into your walking routine, you can get more out of it.” The secret’s all in alternating between bursts of speed or power walking followed by short bursts of “recovery” walking.
A major way to up your walking game is by embracing hills or an incline. “If you have access to a treadmill or a great outdoor hill, you can amp up your walking workout by walking on an incline—it’ll sculpt your glutes and legs, and it’ll get your heart rate up in no time,” says Thornhill. Or you can opt to add weights: “You can spice up your walking routine by adding small dumbbells, anywhere from two to 10 pounds, and incorporate upper body movements like bicep curls and shoulder presses as you walk,” he says.
Get your steps in with the 5 best walking workouts
“Groovy Walk” on Aaptiv
Get into the groove Madonna style with this 30-minute sesh, in which Thornhill focuses on staying on track with the music’s rhythm.
“20 Minute R&B Fun Walk” on Peloton Digital
I’m personally into this breezy walk guided by trainer Chase Tucker that features music from… Usher. Hell yeah.
“2 Mile Walk -from the 4 Mile Power Walk Workout” on YouTube
You can your walk on—indoors—with true enthusiasm via this YouTube workout.
“Walk Your World” on Aaptiv
You’ll cover about a mile and a half with this interval walk that takes things up a notch with bursts of speed.
“30 Minute ’90s Fun Walk” on Peloton Digital
Personally, IDK what’s more fun than a walk to background music from *Nsync, Britney Spears, and other ’90s faves.
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