Hey Angels and Alphas,
If you’ve ever tried walking for weight loss, you may have noticed a few potential fitness stations throughout your walking route. And something similar happens to most people who start gaining momentum with any kind of low-effort fitness activity… they started instinctively wanting to up the pace.
Adding various new cardio and strength-based movements to your walk will up the ante a little bit and can potentially help you improve your overall fitness much faster or lose more calories.
And with the Fall season approaching, we’ve decided to explore some bodyweight exercises you can add to your current walk to do exactly that. They don’t require equipment and you can do them throughout your walk, for a few total sets over the course of the walk.
Let’s dive right in.
#1 WALKING LUNGES
Walking lunges are subtle strength-training exercises you can fit into your walk without having to worry about turning heads or looking silly. Rather than taking your normal step forward, extend your stride and take a big step forward with your hands on your hips. Then lower yourself into a lunge by bending both your knees.
Push through with your feet and take a big step forward with your other foot, repeating the lunging process. Do about ten on each side for each set, and you’re golden!
#2 MOUNTAIN POSES
You might say a boring stand-in-place posture won’t really do much for your fitness, but the mountain pose is actually an important precursor to planks and pushups. Stand with your feet at hip distance apart and your arms straight down at your sides. Then pull your shoulders back and down and try to maintain a straight posture for as long as possible. For most people, doing this alone feels challenging!
From this position, just keep your gaze fixed straight ahead and activate your core (pretend like someone is about to punch you in the abs and you’re bracing yourself for it.) Hold this position for 30 seconds and release.
#3 CALF RAISES
Calf raises are the most subtle exercise you can include to your walk yet they’re an effective way to work on your ankle mobility and put some load on your calf muscles. Just find a stable, level surface and slowly rise up on your toes, followed by slowly lowering back down. Imagine that mountain pose again and activate your core while you’re performing this for the highest impact. You should aim for about 15-20 reps, with all of them being slow and controlled.
Level up this exercise: find a curb or stair to do calf raises on and put the ball of your foot on the stair. Allow your heel to then drop below the stair’s level as you’re coming down from the calf raise rep. This will give you the ability to go deeper into the ankle stretch and work your calves with more intensity.
#4 JUMP ROPE
One of the best ways to get your heart rate up is to add a few jumps to your workout. The best thing about jump rope is that it’s a very small movement and most people won’t even notice you’re doing it. In this case, you’re pretending that you’re jumping rope and bouncing on your toes while jumping about an inch off the ground for every rep.
If you’re someone who works in an office or at a computer and you’re experiencing wrist tightness, you can add the wrist twirl movement you’d usually do when jumping rope. Aim for 50-100 repetitions.
If you do decide to bring along a rope on your next walk and take a few minutes to use it, you can pretty much turn your walk into one of the most effective fat-burning HIIT sessions out there (with intervals of rope jumping followed by slow strolls.)
#5 RUN UP STAIRS
Flights of stairs can not only add another intense cardio element into your workout, but they’re also amazing for your glutes and quads. Most walkers usually try to avoid stairs and hills, but experienced walkers embrace them – they’re a challenge that the muscle isn’t used to so why not leverage them? No pun intended.
Try adding some spring and speed up your running up stairs as much as possible. If your route has 2-3 long flights of stairs, you can do a few sets and build up the intensity.