Today I Learned...
alking is one of the most effective ways to stay in shape. But if you've been walking for a while and want to get more out of it, try these tips:
1. Try Nordic walking.
If you're looking for a new way to get the most out of your daily walk, Nordic walking may be the answer. Nordic walking is a great way to burn more calories and build strength in different parts of your body than regular walking does.
Nordic walking is a form of exercise that uses specially designed poles with rubber tips to grab the pavement, helping walkers engage arms and core muscles while turning simple walks into full-body workouts.
Nordic walking works different muscle groups than normal walking does—as well as strengthening muscles that run along your spine, it also targets your abs, thighs, and arms. It also helps reduce injury risk by strengthening muscles that support the knees.
2. Have a little fun.
A daily walk is an essential part of any fitness routine, but it doesn't have to be boring. Here are some ways to make your walk more fun!
- Try a fitness tracker. Being able to see the number of steps you’re taking, the distance you’ve traveled and your heart rate is great motivation to keep moving. You can even compete with friends to make it more fun!
- Take a new route. If you don’t want to get bored with your daily walks, try exploring different routes in your neighborhood or around town. You may even find places that are more scenic than where you usually walk!
- Get a walking buddy. Walking with someone else is fun, especially if they have similar goals and interests as yours—you might even plan some form of reward for yourselves after each workout session!
3. Bring on the props.
The more you can do to change up your workout, the more likely you'll stay engaged and focused. Luckily there are plenty of ways to get more out of your daily walk by using props—and bonus points if those props are also affordable.
Try adding a weighted vest or carrying a water bottle filled with sand. In addition, adding this intensity can boost the number of calories you burn.
4. Crank up the tunes.
One of the easiest ways to get more out of your daily walks is to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks and meditation apps.
Doing so will make it more enjoyable for you, which makes it more likely that you'll stick with your daily walks.
5. Embrace the fartlek.
Fartlek is a Swedish word that roughly translates to "speed play." The basic idea of fartlek is that you can't predict exactly how fast or slow you'll be walking, but the overall goal should be to alternate between more intense periods of activity and easier ones.
Start by deciding on how many minutes of fartlek activity you'd like to do during each walk. Try starting with three minutes at first—then build up from there. If you're already a regular runner, try doing two minutes of running followed by one minute walking; if running isn't something new for you, then maybe try alternating between one minute running and five minutes walking instead. You can mix it up however works best for your level and comfort level!
To make things even more fun (and effective), try coming up with some different ways to reach each mile mark: for example, singing along with music or saying out loud what's happening around you ("I'm doing great!") every time someone says "mile" during their run segment could work well here! Or maybe count backwards from 10 before each mile marker shows up so that when it does show up again at mile 3 - 4 / 5 - 6...you have no idea where those miles went!
The key to a good walk is finding something that works for you.
Walking 30 minutes every day is better than not walking at all, but if there’s one thing we learned from our experts, it’s this: don’t stop there! Do what feels right and have fun with it—you might even surprise yourself by being happier and healthier in the process.