Just getting into #fitlife? No worries. Nobody is expecting you to crush a five-mile run your first day at the gym. Walking workouts are a great way to get started on the path to health and Aaptiv can help.
Just like going for a run, walking will get your blood pumping and build your stamina. Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or you’re in recovery mode, making treadmill walking workouts part of your lifestyle has a ton of benefits.
You can drop pounds walking. “Fast-paced walking, when combined with healthy eating, is hugely effective for weight loss,” Art Weltman, PhD, director of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia, told Health.com. For beginners, a workout such as Cardio Walk to Remember (in Aaptiv’s Treadmill section) is a great place to start.
Walking can definitely help with “fat burning and toning,” says Candice Cunningham, Atlanta-based Aaptiv trainer who specializes in women’s health and fitness, pre and post-natal corrective exercise, and fitness nutrition.
If weight loss or toning is your goal, keep in mind that you want to make your walking session a workout—that means it should be challenging and just a little bit outside your comfort zone.
What can you do to make sure your walking workout is more intense than a mid-day stroll? “Keep your hands moving as though you were outside. You don’t want to hold on to the rails,” says Cunningham. “To make it more difficult, add incline or increase the pace.” You will start to feel a good burn once the intensity starts ramping up. Want to try it? “The Walking Challenge” on Aaptiv is a great workout for steep inclines.
As with all higher intensity workouts, make sure you allow your body to warm up, walking on the flat or at a more subdued pace. Gradually increase the intensity as you warm up.
Better fitness and bigger goals
If walking workouts have been part of your routine for a while or you’re more inclined to lift weights, walking can be a springboard for bigger goals and a complement to your current routine.
“You can do a cardio walking workout on the same day as lifting. It’s a good addition to weight training once or twice a week,” says Cunningham. “Although opinions differ on this, most trainers suggest doing your walking after strength training.”
Over time if challenging walking workouts are starting to get comfortable for you, you’ll know you’re hitting your goals! That also means it’s time to step it up! Start incorporating some jogging or HIIT into your walking sessions.
To get started, log on to the Aaptiv app and try the “Aerobic Speed Walk” in Aaptiv’s walking section.
If you’re walking as part of an injury recovery plan, your goals (and workouts) are going to be a bit different. Pay attention to how you feel. Are you uncomfortable or in pain? After injury, “You want to ease into your fitness routine after taking time off,” says Cunningham. “Train at a point that you feel comfortable.” In addition, always discuss your recovery plans with your doctor.
Beyond weight loss
The benefits of regular walking workouts go far beyond weight loss. Decreased risk of disease, a stronger immune system, and diminished joint pain are among the many health benefits that walking workouts provide, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Walking is also good for our mental health, it “reduces anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improves self-esteem and cognitive function.” If you’re looking to focus on your mental wellbeing, try Aaptiv’s meditation walking workouts such as “Mindful Outdoor Walk”. This zen approach to walking calms the body, clears the mind, and allows for deep thinking.