walking workout

Walking is a great activity to help you clear your mind, easily get more exercise, improve your endurance and digestion, as well as work your muscles and burn some calories. Did you know that walking can also help you to boost your immune system and reduce sugar cravings?

As a personal trainer for women over 55, one of the most common complaints is, “How do I get rid of sugar cravings?” Studies have shown that going for a 15-30 minute walk each day can help to reduce the intense need for sugar. As a bonus, walking can also ease aches and pains in your joints. Check out these tips to get more out of your walking. 

Get More Out of Your Walking

Human beings are creatures of habit who take the same route, at the same pace, around the same time each time we go for a walk. If you are relatively consistent with your walking, your body will adapt to the challenge and could plateau. Your body may not continue to see as many benefits from the same activity and may be ready for you to push it a little harder. 

If you want to continue to burn more calories, build muscle tone, and improve your endurance, you need to mix it up a bit. If you are walking on a treadmill, pick an interval program, adding one with hills or an incline helps even more! If you are walking outside, mix up your workout pace or intensity or route and add some intervals as you walk.

After warming up, walking at a moderate pace for at least five minutes, add intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute of more intense movement: walk faster, go up a hill, add some step up and downs on the curb, or stop for some bodyweight squats, then return to your moderate pace of walking. Try adding a few intervals to burn more calories and get more out of your workout! 

Build Bone Density and Balance with Walking

Biking, swimming, and using the elliptical will not help to boost your bone density. To build bone density you need to add more weight bearing and some light impact activities such as walking, hiking, climbing stairs, and weight training.

To build bone density with walking you also need to mix up your intensity and the challenge for your body while walking. Try adding a weighted vest: one of the best ways to improve your bone density, vary up your route to add more hills, add some step up and downs on the curb, or body weight squats to challenge your body and build bone density. 

Another way to work your muscles and challenge your balance is to try walking sideways and backwards for a short distance. Be careful and check your surroundings first, but adding walking in various directions can help to strengthen the muscles around your hips even more to build more stability, balance, bone density, and protect your joints. 

To improve your balance, add some agility movements. Most people think of balance as standing on one foot. However, balance is made up of many components such as your stability to stand still, your ability to quickly react and change directions, the strength in your muscles, your vision, and your proprioception, your body’s awareness to space and stability.

Add a balance challenge to your walking by quickly changing directions, walk heel to toe and toe to heel, or walk in a monster walk with wide stance then switch to a narrow stance like you are walking on a runway. Check out this video for a few more ideas to challenge your balance! 

How to Stay Motivated

Walking is an easy to access workout, but even so, it can be tough to stay motivated. One rainy day, a lot of pollen in the air, too much snow, or a busy schedule can be enough to ruin your motivation for walking.

Stay motivated by joining a walking group or gather a few friends to form your own walking group or grab a walking buddy. Save your favorite podcast, audiobook, or playlist to use while walking. If you are outside, be sure to keep your volume so that you can hear your surroundings for safety.

Save this indoor walking routine for when the weather isn’t cooperating:

Or join a step challenge! A step challenge is a fun way to stay motivated to get more steps in each day. I’m hosting a Free 7 Day Step Challenge starting May 22nd. Don’t miss the date!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you have a daily walking routine? How often do you vary your routine? How do you challenge yourself? Is there a particular tip you use that helps you stay motivated to keep walking every day?