Health

5 Walking Workouts That Will Actually Slim You Down

Contrary to popular belief, there are hundreds of ways to workout, slim down and boost your energy without ever stepping foot on a treadmill. Heck, you can even walk off that extra weight. No, I’m not messing with you. You really can lose weight and feel more energetic and less stressed by committing to a regular walking workout. Here are five walking workouts that will help you lose weight and reduce your stress.

1. The Drop-It-Fast Sprint

Prevention has tested this intense workout, which takes about 25 to 30 minutes and can burn as many as 175 calories. Use a pedometer on your phone or something that will measure your distance. Warm up for five minutes, and then walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. You’ll want to pay attention to how far you go in the 10-minute time.

Once the 10 minutes are up, turn around and walk back to your starting point at a brisk pace, slowing down as you get closer to where you began. Each time you do this workout, you should aim to walk faster and farther than you did the previous time.

walking workout photo
Photo by Wonderlane

2. Firm Up Fast

Fitness magazine brought in Tina Vindum, founder of Outdoor Fitness in San Francisco, to design a walk that helps sculpt and firm your lower body while burning up to 300 calories.

The workout starts with one minute of knee lifts, and then walking with moderate intensity on a flat terrain. Then, it incorporates hills, lunges, sumo squats and hill bounds for an intense, lower-body firming workout. Find the specific directions here.

tennis shoes photo
Photo by lazha

3. Weekend Mega-Calorie Burner

Prevention suggests using one hour on the weekend just for walking. You’ll burn 350 calories and your post-exercise calorie burn will increase five fold. You can even plan your route so that you can pass friends’ homes along the way and have someone to walk with. Just make sure that you’re walking at a moderate pace. Use the time that you’re not with friends for serious speed walking—getting to their homes will be your reward!

walking with friends photo
Photo by patilincortes

4. Weekly Walking Plan

Fitness has a great weekly walking plan that will help you burn up to 1,300 calories per week. Nope, that’s not a typo. If you commit to the plan, then you really can burn that many calories just by walking. Monday starts with “Essential Upper-Body Shapers,” on Tuesday and Thursday you would do 45 minutes of 4-mph or more walking with another Upper-Body Shaper thrown in, Wednesday and Saturday is “Burn-and-Firm,” Sunday is 60 minutes of 4-mph walking and Friday is your day off. It might seem daunting, but you can totally do it.

walking photo
Photo by Infomastern

5. Happiness Walk

Prevention suggests this and two other walks to help reduce your stress while also burning calories. Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of “Healing Walks for Hard Times” designed the walks for Prevention. The longer you walk, the better you’ll feel.

The Happiness Walk uses three steps:

  • First, you’ll want to bring your awareness to the ground under your feet as each foot rolls from heel to toe. Try to remain aware of your steps and the ground for two to three minutes.
  • Second, bring awareness to your breathing. Stand upright, and, as you inhale, imagine that bringing in new energy. I like to imagine that the air inside of my body is a dark color and the air I’m breathing in is a fresh, light color flushing out all of that old air. As you exhale, imagine that you’re sending all of the stress out in waves.
  • Lastly, repeat the breathing technique and mentally tell yourself something like “Fresh air in, stale air out,” according to Prevention.

If you do find your mind wandering back to whatever is causing you stress, breathe in, and, as you’re breathing out, imagine that the stressful memory is floating away from you.

pretty walk photo
Photo by DavidK-Oregon

Incorporating these daily fat-busting and stress-relieving walks into your routine will make you stronger both physically and mentally.

Photo by Ray Sawhill