Searches for a “walking workout” are on the rise as people across the UK are looking for a lower intensity form of exercise that helps maintain fitness levels whilst avoiding the risk of injury or fatigue. The “walking workout” is also currently trending on TikTok, with the hashtag #walkingworkout reaching 51.6 million views on the app and counting.
According to the NHS website, “brisk walking can help you build endurance, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.”
Abigail Roberts, sports nutritionist at bulk.com, said: “Walking is a form of cardiovascular physical activity, often performed at moderate to low intensity, that does not place undue stress on joints prone to injury.
“Walking is often used by someone who wants to become more moderately physically active, and is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking is just as good as any other exercise and setting yourself the goal of completing a “walking workout” can be more motivating than just walking here and there throughout the day.
“Completing a ‘walking workout’, whether outdoors or on the treadmill, can aid weight loss and provide health benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood and overall sense of well-being.
“For those who don’t like going to the gym, a lower intensity walking workout may seem more appealing and you may not feel too fatigued to perform other exercises.
“An hour of light to moderate walking a day is ideal for running training. Walking at a moderate pace of 3 mph equates to an average of 6,000 steps per hour, so you could set yourself a step goal of 6,000 steps per day. Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth can help moderate a steady heartbeat and help you stay calm and collected.
“For outdoor walking training, it is good to map out a route for yourself and record your activity on your phone or smartwatch, because that way you can see how many calories you burn and why you don’t always go to a gym for that need. a training. Walking for just an hour each day can help reduce levels of depression, improve your mood, energize you and reduce anxiety, research shows.”
“Higher impact workouts are more prone to injuries to joints such as hips, knees and ankles, and can also increase heart rate. For someone who is recovering from an injury, has joint issues, or is new to exercise, it’s much better to start with a light running workout.
“Even for someone who may have heart disease, it’s important to stick to a low intensity to make sure you don’t push your heart too much. Low-impact exercise also puts less stress on your body and reduces the need for rest days, helping you stay consistently active. Also, choose a lower intensity to avoid possible injury or a high heart rate.
“Older adults are naturally more vulnerable to developing heart disease, so the Center for Disease Control recommends that healthy adults over age 65 should aim to complete 150 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity cardio activity once a week.”
Abigail shared her step-by-step guide to integrating a walking workout into your daily routine:
Step 1 – Warm up
You should always warm up before any form of exercise.
This consists of 5-10 minutes of light stretches, of leg swings, arm circles and head rotations.
An initial brisk walk of a few minutes can also be done to gradually increase your heart rate.
Step 2 – Set your goal
Depending on the desired results of your walking exercise, you can set a goal with a desired intensity and duration.
For beginners, we recommend starting with a 20 to 30 minute walk at a moderate pace. You can then increase your duration or intensity depending on how comfortable you feel.
Step 3- Choose a route
By planning a route for yourself, you can start your walking training
Whether through your local park, along the beach or through the woods, choosing a route with beautiful scenery will always help you walk with a pleasant feeling.
Top tip from experts: don’t forget to take into account all the safety factors that could hinder you on your way. You can take a test walk to make sure the route is right for you.
Step 4- Register your activity
By recording your activity, you can see how many calories you will burn with your work workout.
Whether you use a smartwatch or your smartphone, you can track your distance, time, pace and calories burned.
Tracking your progress can also help you stay motivated and set new goals for more walks.
Step 5- Think fuel and hydration
Just because a walking workout is a lower-intensity form of exercise doesn’t mean you can skip pre-fuel and hydration.
Provide a balanced meal with a lot of carbohydrates, some protein and little fat. Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for the working muscles during exercise.
Take a water bottle with you when walking and take regular sips
Step 6 – Maintain proper posture
It is important to maintain good posture while walking to avoid any discomfort or injury to the spine.
To do this, keep your spine straight to avoid slouching and try to tighten your core muscles.
Also, maintain a consistent breathing technique, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
Step 7 – Record intervals
If you want to add a higher intensity to your exercise routine a few weeks later, you can incorporate intervals by walking at a faster pace for a certain distance or time and then switch to a slower pace to recover.
Expert top tip: Repeat intervals during your walk to challenge your cardiovascular system
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