Did you know that regular walking reduces the risk of chronic illnesses, such as Type-2 diabetes and heart disease? In addition, it boosts energy levels by improving circulation and oxygen supply to every cell in your body and it even relieves muscle tension, wakes up stiff joints and increases bone density.
Walking is exercise that burns 400 calories an hour (that’s one-and-a-half jam doughnuts), melts fat, tones your legs, bum and tum and makes your heart stronger. This is a workout that anyone can do at any time. It targets your legs, especially your quads and hamstrings when going up hill, but also uses your core and arms (get them swinging!) for a full-body exercise. And of course, it’s a great weight loss tool, as long as you keep the pace up.
6-WEEK 30-MINUTE WALKING PLAN
It’s enough to have three half-hour walking sessions a week to see results. Here’s a 6-week plan; it’s recommended to do workout 1 on Monday, workout 2 on Wednesday and workout 3 on Saturday. However, you can fit them in as and when you can.
5min interval training
Hill or stairs walking
|GOOD FOR||Fat burning and weight loss||Strengthening leg muscles and boosting cardio fitness||Increasing endurance|
|WEEK 1||Walk fast for 1 minute, steady for 4. Repeat 6 times||Find a hill or a flight of stairs (around 10-15 steps). Walk up fast, then walk down slowly. Perform 1 squat. Then repeat the above move, but each time increase the squat reps by 1||For your half-hour training, set out on a walk. When the 15 minutes is up, return home and aim to be back before the remaining 15 minutes runs out. As you improve, the distance covered should be greater|
|WEEK 2||Walk fast for 2 minutes, steady for 3. Repeat 6 times||Repeat as above||Repeat as above, but try going 250m further|
|WEEK 3||Walk fast for 2 minutes 30 seconds, steady for 2 minutes 30 seconds. Repeat 6 times||Repeat as above||Repeat as above, but up the distance by another 250m
|WEEK 4||Walk fast for 3 minutes, steady for 2. Repeat 6 times||Repeat as above||Repeat as above, but up the distance by another 250m|
|WEEK 5||Walk fast for 3 minutes 30 seconds, steady for 1 minute 30 seconds. Repeat 6 times||Repeat as above||Repeat as above, but up the distance by another 250m|
|WEEK 6||Walk fast for 4 minutes, steady for 1. Repeat 6 times||Repeat as above||Repeat as above, but up the distance by another 250m|
TOP WALKING TIPS
- Swing your arms back and forth. This will automatically speed you up, tone your arms and engage your core muscles.
- Imagine you’re walking along a straight line. This will help you to resist the urge to lengthen your stride. If you want to speed up, take smaller, faster steps.
- If you can utter a sentence, but can’t sing a whole song, then you’re walking at the right intensity and speed.
- If you find it difficult timing your interval training in Workout 1, pick an object in the distance, such as a tree, and walk quickly to the object. Then walk steadily to the next object.