Brisk walking brings with it many health benefits, as well as being free and one of the simplest ways to improve your health and lose weight.
To help maximise your walks, we’ve answered a stack of need-to-knows and come up with a host of inspirational ideas to help transform your stroll into a walking workout.
The benefits of walking
Brisk walking brings with it countless benefits, including:
- Free, accessible, and simple
- Improves circulation
- Releases endorphins/ improves mood
- Burns excess calories/aids weight loss
- Helps build stamina
- Improves sleep
- Makes your heart healthier
- Reduces the risk of developing a range of health conditions
What is the recommended walking distance per day?
According to the NHS
, a brisk 10-minute daily walk delivers a host of health benefits and counts towards the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise for adults.
It is recommended that adults aged 19 to 64 participate in some type of physical activity every day.
Is walking a workout?
In short, yes! Regular brisk walking has been shown to deliver an array of health benefits. Below we have mapped out several ways to maximise walking to achieve a successful walk workout.
How fast should I walk for exercise?
A brisk walk is roughly three miles an hour, which can be tracked on a treadmill, personal tracking device or smartphone app.
A useful way to know if you’re walking briskly is that you should be able to talk but unable to sing the lyrics to a song.
How can I achieve a successful walking workout?
There are many ways that you can transform your walks into a walking workout, such as:
Before your walking workout, ensure you take the time to properly prepare. Walk slowly for a few minutes to help warm up your muscles. Follow this with some gentle stretches, paying close attention to your hamstrings and quadriceps.
Step up the pace
Track your progress
As mentioned, a brisk daily walk is highly recommended to deliver numerous health and wellbeing benefits. Aim for a minimum of three miles an hour or faster once you feel ready!
A great way to achieve a walking workout and stay motivated is to track your progress. This can be achieved easily if you’re walking on a treadmill, by using a tracker app or pedometer or even keeping a walking diary.
Tackle an incline
Nothing feels more satisfying than completing a walk having tackled an incline. A gradual incline is a great way to challenge your body, adds variety, works your muscles, and maintains motivation.
Start by gradually increasing your incline if you’re walking on a treadmill. If you are walking outside, choose a gradual incline which begins uphill and ends downhill, to help your body adjust to this added exercise.
If you’re looking to make your walk feel more like a workout, adding weights is a great option. Delivering a superb benefit to aerobic exercise, adding weights to a belt, pockets or backpack could help you get fitter more quickly and burn extra calories. Alternatively, you could try using free arm weights as you walk to tone and build muscle strength.
Remember to be aware of your limits and start gradually to avoid injury.
How can I stay motivated while walking?
As we know, like with all forms of exercise, achieving and sustaining motivation is key. Try and stay motivated while walking with these tips:
Make it part of your lifestyle
The best way to stay motivated with any form of exercise is to embed it in your routine, making it become a habit and a part of your lifestyle.
There are several ways that you could look to incorporate walking into your daily routine, such as:
A change of landscape
- Replace short car journeys with walking instead.
- Get off the bus a couple of stops early/walk the rest of the way.
- Walk all or part of your journey to work.
- Do a regular walk with a friend, colleague, or family member.
- Walk your children to school.
- Take the stairs at work or out and about instead of the lift.
The great thing about walking is that it is free, it offers great variety, and your walking routes/landscapes can be mixed up regularly.
Keep motivation high by regularly mixing up your walking destinations. From local walking routes to parks, woodlands, heritage sites and city strolls, you’ll have the variety to maintain motivation and keep that step counter ticking over!
Nothing beats a good stroll teamed up with your favourite playlist or podcast to keep you company.
Create playlists of varying lengths as you increase your walking distance to spur you on or download your favourite podcast to keep you motivated as you walk up a sweat.
If you’re looking to make new friends and socialise through walking, you may wish to research local walking groups. There are usually many walking clubs available to join, which you could find highly rewarding and a way to stay motivated.
Walk with a buddy
If you are the proud owner of a four-legged friend or know a pooch you could walk with, what better motivation than to go on regular brisk walks together? Not only will they keep you company, but they will enjoy the walk just as much, if not more than you!
Learn more today
If you’re inspired to use your love of fitness to motivate others, we provide a range of Personal Training courses delivered by industry-leading instructors so you can learn to help others reach their fitness goals.
Each year, we support more than 4000 fitness fanatics to become expert PTs and we’re proud to be the go-to training provider for leading gyms across the UK.
All of our Health and Fitness courses have a super flexible approach – you can choose to study either full-time, part-time, or completely online.
Download our prospectus or speak to one of the team today to get started.