How to start or change up your walking routine

Today I’m talking about my number one favorite form of exercise that I recommend to almost everyone: walking. Continue reading about the benefits, how to start a walking routine, why it’s important to walk every day, and how to change your routine.

Check out these tips to get started with a walking routine or make small changes that can lead to better fitness, health, and well-being.

Hello! How is the day treating you? I’m taking an F45 class with a friend, then I have back-to-back client calls, and tonight I’m making tacos for dinner. Hmm! I hope you have a beautiful day!

For today’s post, let’s talk about what I really consider the *best* form of exercise. Are there any other surprising modes? YEAH. But if everyone (who does not have physical limitations or medical conditions that are contraindicated for it) could walk, I think it would have a very positive impact on physical and mental health. Walking is one of my non-negotiable activities every day. Even if it’s a short 10-15 minute walk around the block, I feel more centered, have more energy, and sleep better when I take a daily walk. Maisey also loves daily walks and she is less destructive when she has regained some energy. 😉

In today’s post, I thought I would share some ideas on how to start a walking routine, some tips, health benefits of walking, and ideas for changing up your walking routine if it’s already a constant part of your life (YAY). I’d love to hear your thoughts on this too!

How to start or change your walking routine

Benefits of walking:

Meditative benefits

My therapist told me that walking can have similar brain benefits as meditation. It is the repetitive movement of your feet on the pavement that calms the body’s sympathetic system (the “flight or fight” response) and can help with anxiety, depression, and mood. (Of course, if you suffer from anxiety or depression, seek the help you need. Walking can be a great complement to traditional therapy, but it is not a substitute.)

Cardiovascular benefits

Walking for 30 minutes each day can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

It is extremely functional

I want to be able to walk as long as possible and the best way to do this is to walk frequently and train the muscles that support walking. When it comes to everyday functional movements, walking is high on the list, and if you don’t use this skill as you age, you may lose it as muscles atrophy and bone density decreases.

Increased calorie burning and reduced body fat

Walking can be used to increase overall calorie burn and reduce body fat. While the actual amount varies from person to person, walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes can help. burn about 150 more calories a day.

Sunlight benefits from walking outdoors

This is a great way to get vitamin D, fresh air, and sunlight, which can affect our circadian rhythm. When you are exposed to sunlight during the day, It can help improve the quality of sleep at night.

Walking can also help with blood sugar response and insulin sensitivity.

One of my favorite *tricks* for a high-sugar meal is to take a short walk afterwards to reduce blood glucose response.

Tips for starting a walking routine:

Multiple task

Take calls or watch your favorite shows while you walk. I take all my Beautycounter calls while walking around the neighborhood and it’s one of my favorite ways to multitask.

Take short walking breaks during your workday

Sometimes the hardest part of creating a walking routine is finding time to do it. Taking walking breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just a short walk around a yard or to another building and back again, is a great way to walk at least 30 minutes each day.

Increase time and intensity slowly

Don’t feel like you have to start with a 1-hour walk each day. Start with 10 minutes and after you can do this consistently for a few weeks, try 15 minutes.

Some things to consider when walking:

Make sure you are in a safe place

If you live in an area where it is not safe to walk alone outdoors, find a safe place, such as a gym, a neighborhood of friends or a walking path in a park, or a treadmill.

Tell someone where you are going and when

Especially if you’re going to a new location, make sure someone you know knows where you’ll be and what time you’ll finish. Keep your cell phone and ID with you. To make it easier, you can use the location sharing feature on your phone to let a friend, partner, or family member know where to find you in case of an emergency.

Make sure you have comfortable, supportive shoes for walking.

Shoes make a big difference! Wear shoes that offer the amount of support you need, and in any case, head to a local running store to find shoes that fit your foot, pronation, stride, etc.

Use your GLUTES when walking

It’s very easy to think of walking as lifting up from the hip flexor and dropping the foot from here. Instead, focus on using your glutes, almost as if you were ice skating. Push with each step, using the strength of your glutes to maintain good form. Also consider the position of your pelvis as you walk. If your pelvis were a bucket, you’d want to prevent the bucket from constantly spilling water forward or backward; Try to keep it relatively stable. For more walking tips, check out this podcast episode!

How long should I walk?

It depends. It depends on what your daily routine is like. If you have a sedentary job or life, you may benefit from walking more than someone who is already on their feet all day. Consider your lifestyle and what makes sense for your work, the amount of time you can spend walking, and your activity levels. I think a great goal is to aim for 30 minutes a day, in addition to daily exercise and daily activity. If you need help determining cardiovascular guidelines, check out this post!

How to change your walking routine:

Change your route

Explore a new trail or walking trail. This is one of my favorite ways to explore Tucson and also new places when we travel! Take a friend with you and explore somewhere new. Bonus: Look for a spot with several levels of incline.

Wear a weighted vest

This can increase your calorie burn as you have more mass and work harder. If you use a weighted vest or backpack, make sure it is not too heavy and does not impair your posture and movement patterns (for example, causing you to slouch and tuck in your abdomen while walking).

Consider Nordic Walking

nordic walking It is a variation of walking that involves the entire body by adding Nordic poles. This effective cardiovascular and full-body exercise can help you burn more calories than regular walking.

Add bursts of speed

Try increasing your speed to do a brisk walk or jog for some challenge intervals during your walking workout. One of my favorite methods: 2 minutes at an easy pace, 1 minute at a fast pace or jog.

Add strength circuits or bodyweight exercises.

You can implement your strength training with your walking training. Try this on a track: 1 lap, 20 squats, 1 lap, 20 walking lunges, 1 lap, 20 triceps dips, 1 lap, 20 push-ups, 1 lap, 45-second plank.

Get a friend to accompany you

This is one of my favorite ways to walk. Time flies when you walk with a friend and it’s a nice twist on social activities.

Add stairs to the rotation

Climbing stairs is a great way to train various leg muscles and change up your routine.

Try an audio-based walking workout

Audio-based walking exercises can be great motivators. Peloton has some amazing ones!

Are you a fan of walking? Do you have a number of steps you want to achieve each day?

Remember that if you’re not consistently taking 10,000 steps a day, that’s okay! Try gradually increasing the number of steps over time. For example, if you only get to 3,000 or so, aim for 4,000 for a few weeks and build from there.

xo

gina

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