Hey Angels and Alphas,
When it comes to walking for weight loss, we know this is one of those exercise types that has no barrier to entry. It’s free, you can do it pretty much anywhere, and you don’t need any equipment. And from boosting your mood to improving your cardio, walking is one of the most straightforward exercises you can do to support your health.
And whether you’re someone who regularly likes to walk long distances or you’re just getting started with creating your walking routine, here are a few tips you can use to make the most out of your steps so you can continue this healthy and productive habit.
#1 START WITH SOME DYNAMIC STRETCHING
Whether you’re simply walking or power cleaning 225lbs, mobility is key. Mobility is a must for securing the full range of motion of an exercise with each step so you can’t go wrong with adding some warm-up exercises for your heels and ankles before your walk. And as you’re starting your walk, you have to remember to spend 3-5 gradually increasing the speed and intensity of your stride so you can properly warm up.
#2 PERFECT YOUR POSTURE
Proper posture throughout the day is absolutely crucial. It lets you breathe more deeply, minimizes stress on your joints, and even aids digestion. That’s why if you want to stay healthy and energetic, you have to master it. If your posture is slumped, for example, this can add additional stress to your joints and cause problems such as breathing issues and fatigue.
Here’s how to get your posture right:
- Start at the top of your body and basically work your way down.
- Keep your head centered over yourself (don’t push your chin forward.)
- Push your shoulders down and back so your chest opens up.
- Straighten your spine and keep your pelvic under your shoulders.
You can even practice activating your deep abdominal muscles just so you can gain some more additional control of your spine. Never forget to brace your belly toward your back and do that for short periods during your walk. Practice focusing on your posture every now and then until it becomes more natural, and you can integrate it directly into all your walks.
#3 BRING MORE POWER TO YOUR STRIDES
While a soft, smooth stride is the most efficient way to walk, you should avoid taking steps that are too wide. You also have to remember that increasing your incline or your speed too quickly can lead to shin problems, among other aches and pains. Make sure to progress your routine gradually.
Here’s a tip from the pros: during your next walk, try doing a few intervals of focused strides. Walk normally for 3 minutes, then spend 1 minute being really focused and in tune with your strides. With time, it will become completely natural for you, and you’ll be able to spend more time doing those soft, smooth strides you should be doing.
#4 USE YOUR ARM SWINGS CORRECTLY
You should, at all times, focus on maintaining the natural bend of your elbows so your arms are essentially swinging in opposition to the foot you step with. Yes, you do want your arms to move back and forth but avoid exaggerating that swing as it will start to have adverse effects on your posture.
During an interval walk, you can use your arm swings to give yourself an extra boost. Focus on those arm swing patterns as you’re increasing speed and keep it stable during more intense periods of your training.
#5 INTEGRATE UPHILL INTERVALS IF POSSIBLE
There’s a natural shift that occurs in your body whenever you need the power to go uphill. As your stride shortens and you’re focused on pushing down with your glutes, you bring up your thighs as you step on the incline. By also leaning slightly forward and keeping your shoulders, chest, and back open, you will be able to power up with your arms (without, of course, arching your back.) With that slow and steady pace, you’ll achieve the best type of intensity on your uphill intervals.
By adding more uphill time to your regular walking routine, you will have no trouble increasing the intensity whenever you start feeling like you need to step up (no pun intended.) By adding an incline interval walk once a week and introducing new challenges into your routine, you’ll start that journey of progressively overloading yourself and achieving new heights in your physique and performance.