Ways to Add Variety to Your Walks
Yesterday we looked at indoor walking, so today we will look at outdoor walking. Walking is more than putting one foot in front of the other. There is an environment aspect to outdoor walking.
The interesting thing about walking is you can do it almost anywhere. One time in Gatlinburg on a rainy day, we walked our resort building hallways. We would walk across the width of the building and up the stairs and across the second floor going all the way to the top 5th floor. Not only did we get some walking in, we got some stair climbing which really is just walking up stairs.
There are so many places to walk, such as in your subdivision, in parks, malls (which by the way is another way to walk indoors), out on trails, in the mountains, on the beach, and to the store. That’s part of the variety you can put into your outdoor walking.
You can do many of the same things we mentioned for walking on the treadmill. You can find flat places to walk or on hills. We have lots of hill around us so it’s about certain you will get some incline walking here.
You can vary your speed, stride, direction, and your concentration. If you try Speed walking pump your arms (at a 90-degree angle) vigorously as you speed up your pace. Your arms should move front-to-back and not side-to-side (commonly referred to as “chicken wings”). You can burn 5%-10% extra calories by adding this faster, more deliberate arm movement to your walks. Practice this technique over short distances until you can build up your time and speed, being sure to breathe properly the entire time.
You can also take your dog, if you have one. You may need to work with training your pet, especially if your dog is always pulling you. They usually want to go a little faster than you want. Take some water and a treat especially in the hot summer.
Be careful if you walk on roads and highways. There are always reports of someone being hit while walking by a road or trying to walk cross busy streets. Also, be careful on secluded walks in parks or down dark alleys. Use wisdom. You may want to walk with someone, which adds a completely new dimension to your walking.
Some people like to time their walks and attempt to improve on their time. Some just like to stroll through the woods and enjoy the scenery. However you like it, there are many ways to enjoy outdoor walking.