Walking is great exercise and has many benefits. It can be social, it gets you outside in the fresh air, and it can improve your mood, balance, and coordination (among other health benefits). But if you have been walking awhile and aren’t seeing the results you want in your cardiovascular health or weight loss, try incorporating some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) moves into your walk. We call this the hop, skip, and jump around the neighborhood. These HIIT moves will help you get your heart rate up, build strength, and melt that fat.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT is a type of interval training that alternates shorts periods of intense exercises with less-intense recovery periods (in this case, walking). One of the positives to HIIT is that you can get results from doing a shorter workout, so this is a great way to fit in a workout if you are short on time. If you are a walker, you can incorporate the principles of HIIT into your walk to increases your health benefits and start to see results. Plus, it’s fun! Just try to skip down the street or jump like a frog without a big smile on your face!
Studies have found HIIT training to significantly improve cardiovascular fitness and lead to improvements in body composition. It also helps to lower insulin resistance compared to continuous training.
The great thing about incorporating HIIT into your walk is that you can change it up and customize it to your needs. You don’t need a gym to do this type of training, and you can do it in your own neighborhood, on a trail or at a park.
You can do a variety of moves with a short walk in between sets. Examples of HIIT moves include:
- Jumping Jacks
- Frog Hops
- Mountain Climbers
- Wall Climbers
- Jump Squats
- High Knees
- Running stairs (if you pass stairs, run them and bump up the intensity!)
- And so many more
If you want to kick up the intensity of your walk, but need a low-impact workout due to an injury or joint pain, check out these low-impact moves that burn fat.
Feel free to get creative or take elements from your other workouts. Don’t worry about looking silly. Bring a friend or family member to do it with you if you feel self-conscious. Once you start to see results, you’ll think it is silly not to do it.
How to Kick Up the Intensity of Your Walk with HIIT
There are no hard rules about this, and your location and the terrain can help you set up a customized workout that incorporates HIIT principles. As an example, you can warm up by walking 10 minutes and stretching. Do 30 seconds of intense activity, followed by a 15-second to 30-second walk and then repeat the set. Choose about 4 or 5 moves to incorporate into your workout, doing two to three sets of each move, separated by a walking rest period. At the end of your workout, walk for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down (or longer if you prefer a longer walk) and then stretch. You’ll begin to enjoy improvements in your cardiovascular health, strength, athletic performance, and fat burning abilities.