10 Styles To Improve Your Walking Routine

Taking a simple walk on most days of the week can make radical changes to your health and overall fitness. Additionally, good technique can also make your walks even more effective, fun and satisfying. However, if you are one of those who tend to get bored rather easily, then committing to walking alone 4 to 5 times a week may get difficult. To help you out, here are 10 ways to change your walking styles, improve your workout routine, and melt those calories away while having a lot of fun.

 

  1. Brisk Walking

Brisk walking is an intensive workout on its own. It’s a powerful exercise which will get your heart racing and your body sweating in no time. The right technique for brisk walking is to keep your body upright, bend your elbows at about 90 degrees, keep your gaze forward, and walk heel to toe. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your hands slightly cupped. The emphasis is on the energy exerted as well as the speed.

 

  1. Race Walking

This type of walking has a specific technique that needs to be followed in order to reap the maximum benefit. Unlike running, race walking requires you to maintain continuous contact with the ground and you can use your arm motion to generate speed. This distinct style creates a hip rotation as you need to ensure that your knee remains straight while the forward foot touches the ground and moves under the body. This is a competitive style based on technique and is included in Olympic sports.

 

  1. Power Walking

Power walking differs from race walking by, essentially, not following the rules of the latter, that is, you don’t need to have a constant contact with the ground. Just make sure you are not running! Unlike race walking, power walking is not a competitive sport and it also does not get as fast as race walking. The technique is simple, bend your arms at around 90 degrees, keep your chin up and your back straight. Use your arm motion to generate more speed and match the arm motion with your steps.

 

  1. Nordic Walking

Here’s an interesting style of walking. Nordic walking requires the use of two specific poles that help you workout your upper body, too, while you walk. Think of skiing, it’s practically the same except you are walking instead of sliding. Nordic walking allows you to achieve an intense workout with a high heart rate without the need to actually walk fast; your strides will be improved too. It also engages your upper body as it works on your arms, shoulders, chest and back.

Hold the poles close to your body and relax your shoulders and arms. The poles need not be gripped tightly as the wrist straps of the poles allow them to swing easily. The poles always remain diagonal and towards the back, they never point forward.

 

  1.  Hill Walking

Hill walking allows you to elevate the intensity of your walks naturally. This type of walking really helps to tone and strengthen all of your leg muscles and will also achieve a higher heart rate as you walk uphill. It does not put a lot of stress on your joints, especially your knees, compared to running and is a great alternative to running. The fresh air and simply nature will give you extra boosts of oxygen and energy which is a plus any day.

 

  1. Chi Walking

Chi walking is a new and unique way to approach walking as an exercise. It aims to achieve a more comprehensive form of health oriented exercise. For this type of walking, you use the concept of Tai Chi and its different steps to meditate and focus on your internal energy as you walk. This allows you to achieve a mind and body connection to improve your posture, strengthen your core and your overall health.

 

  1. Aqua Walking

Aqua walking is basically walking in water. This is a great exercise for all age groups and, especially, for seniors or those suffering from bone or muscle injuries. Water provides an intensive setting as it is denser than air thereby increasing the resistance to all your movements. However, its buoyancy reduces the impact the exercises will have on your body. This will also reduce the fatigue you generally feel after a normal ‘land’ or gym exercise.

 

  1. Interval Walking

This type of walking is a great way to achieve weight loss. It’s practically the same as normal walking, however, there are short periods or intervals of brisk or fast walking during your routine. The short intervals are timed and are followed by a short period of normal walking to recover from the exertion. During the intervals of fast walking, you should also lengthen your stride along with your pace to increase your heart rate. The recovery period that follows should be longer than the fast walking intervals. You can then increase the period of fast walking and reduce the period of recovery as you elevate the difficulty of your walk.

 

  1. Endurance Walking

Also called ‘distance walking’. If you can shell out more time for you walks, this type of walking is a boon to melt abundant calories and increase your strength and endurance. Increased walking at a stretch will improve your metabolism and circulation. Distance walking will also improve your stamina and make you more energetic overall. An increased metabolic function due to extended walking will help you lose more weight and faster than your normal walking routine. These walks are generally 90 minutes or longer.

 

  1. Sand Walking

Walking in sand is much better compared to walking on a pavement or on a hard surface as it requires more effort. This increased resistance from the sand against your foot also helps you burn more calories. Additionally, it will help you work out the muscles in your legs and feet. The soft surface of the sand reduces the impact on your joints compared to when you walk on a hard surface. Walking barefoot in sand is relaxing and, as the sand rubs against your feet, you might also feel like you have just received a free pedicure! Apart from that, the sound of the waves so close to you will help you forget all your worries and stress.

All of these walking styles typically need you to walk outside, but, if the heat, humidity, and the sun has you worried here in Abu Dhabi, don’t let it come in the way of your walks! You can try Treadmill walking, a convenient option where the weather will never interfere with your workout routine, or the popular urban solution— mall walking. Malls are well connected, easily accessible and open every day of the week.