Any exercise you do can help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, so if you are sedentary just pick yourself up and start moving. One of the best forms of exercise you can get in is simple walking. Many people overlook this form of exercise because they are too caught up in higher intensity methods of cardio exercise such as running on the treadmill or using a cross trainer. While those are also good, walking is simple; almost everyone can do it, and it is a low injury risk. That makes it quite good for the vast majority of the population.
If you feel a brisk walk is not enough of a challenge though, there are ways to make it more challenging.
Here are four things you can do on your next walk to make it more efficient …
1. Find A Hill. Whether you are walking outside or on a treadmill, going up a hill is always going to be more challenging than being on the flat ground. This is thanks to the fact walking uphill adds an element of resistance so you will be working your hamstrings, calves, and quads much more.
Also, it is going to increase your heart rate, giving you even better cardiovascular benefits.
2. Alternate Jogging With Walking. If you are of the fitness and health level where you think you can pick up the pace, do so. Jog for 30 seconds and then go back to walking. Keep alternating jogging and walking, adding in 5 to 10 jogging periods in your 20-minute walk. It is a great way to ease into running if you wish to do so as well.
3. Get Those Arms Moving. Think about the last time you walked. How much were your arms moving? If you are like most people, you had a gentle swing going on: this is fine but not ideal if your primary goal is to increase your overall calorie burn.
Get your arms moving. In doing so, you will help to get your heart rate up higher, work your shoulder muscles a bit more, and you may even pick up the pace of your walk a bit, which will result in more calories being burned. It is a win-win!
4. Stop And Do Calisthenics. The last way to make your walk more challenging is to stop every 3 to 4 minutes and do a set of calisthenics. This could be …
- leg raises,
- walking lunges,
- bodyweight squats,
- push-ups, or any other
- bodyweight exercise you can think of.
The above will add a strength training component to the session, which will help to boost your lean muscle mass and improve your fitness overall. It's a fun way to make your walks a little less monotonous.
Keep these tips in mind next time you head out for a walk. There are many ways you can make them more exciting, more challenging, and more beneficial.