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How to Make Your Walks More Effective and Challenging


Walking is one of the simplest ways to fit in a workout every day. Many times, you can do as little as 15-20 minutes if you are crunched for time. Walking is great for cardiovascular health and it keeps your body from becoming stiff. Walking is also the perfect activity because it’s free and doesn’t require any gym.


But what if you are tired of your walking routine? What if it's starting to become to routine and boring? Are you up for a way to challenge yourself? Here are some excellent tips on how to make your walks more effective and challenging that anyone can try.


Try a different route- The easiest way to change things up is to change your scenery. Instead of taking the same route every day, find another one. If you have done everything near your home, try doing routes near your work. If those start to get boring, try city parks.


Go for a hike instead- There are so many places you can go to hike that don’t even require you to put on hiking boots in most places. Around where I live, we have paved and well-marked out trails in our parks and when I am feeling bored with the blocks near my home, I head to these spots for a little change. Not only is this a change in scenery, but it includes some inclines as well that provide a challenge.


Add weight to your walks- A good way to get more challenge from your walks is to simply carry a backpack with something in it. It can even be some actual weights. Try adding 5, 10 or even 20 pounds to a backpack and walk with it on. I DON’T recommend using those wrist or ankle weights to add weight to your workout, however. They can restrict your movement in an unnatural way and lead to injury.


Try interval jogging- If walking is getting too easy for you try jogging or running. You don't have to do it full throttle or the whole time. Instead, choose how long you will walk and how long you will run and do it alternating. For example, I started off with 2 minutes of walking with 1 minute of jogging when I added intervals in.


Get a walking partner- A workout buddy is great for motivating you but they can also make a boring walk a fun one again. Now you have someone to challenge you as well as talk about whatever’s on your mind.


Use technology to push yourself further- Pedometers are excellent for pushing yourself to walk more. Set a goal for steps rather than time and you will probably see that using a pedometer will allow you to push the goal line a little further.


Do shadow boxing- I may look silly doing it, but one of my favorite things to do when I walk is to shadow box. In fact, I put on my headphones and listen to “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J when I do it because it makes me feel fierce. Shadow boxing is simply boxing the air with uppercuts, cross punches and hooks. I do them to the music and every time the main chorus comes on.


Read more by Christine here.

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