Remember to Breathe – Just like preparing to take a yoga class or meditating, you need to learn to control your breathing for the best walking workout possible. Breathe in a pattern that relates to the steps that you are taking. By creating a better breathing pattern while you are walking, you are taking your workout to a new, stress-relieving level.
Find the Right Shoes – There are so many options when it comes to tennis shoes, but if you want to get the most out of your walking workout then you need to find the correct shoes. Experts suggest trying on a variety of different shoes while wearing extra thick socks that will simulate how your feet could feel when they swell due to walking long distances. They also suggest choosing your shoes for comfort and not style, color or fashion.
Have a Goal in Mind – Whether it be finishing a 5K or 10K, or just walking to the end of your street and back, by setting a goal you are more apt to stick to it and boost your workout without even trying.
Take a Barefoot Walk – Sometimes it’s ok to ditch your shoes and take a barefoot walk. Choose a grassy or sandy area and go barefoot which can burn more calories, improve balance and strengthen your foot and ankle muscles.
Add Intervals to Your Typical Walking Workout – Just by adding some short “bursts” of fast walking or running to your traditional walking workout you can easily double your calorie burn. You can either time your intervals, like every five minutes you fast walk/run for a minute, or you can choose landmarks to mark the start and finish of your interval session. You will be able to tell whether or not you are exerting the correct amount of energy during these interval sessions depending upon how much your breathing changes between intervals.
Track Your Heart Rate – The best way to feel like you are working out with a personal trainer is to wear a heart rate monitor while you are walking. It is the best way to know when you need to work harder and when to slow down. You will need to know what your maximum heart rate should be – Subtract your age from 220 and aim to work between 60 percent and 80 percent of that number.
Hit the Hills – Choose a walking route that includes plenty of hills and inclines and not just straight-aways. Hills and inclines are a great way to keep your routine consistently intense.