TIPS TO INCREASE WALKING INTENSITY
What can recreational strollers do to intensify the activity of their walks other than simply moving faster at a continuous pace?
1. Change your FORM:
Pump your arms, pulling elbows back rather than moving fists forward. The faster the arm pumps, the faster the walk pace. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Take more, but smaller steps. Runners aim for 180/mile. Walkers can try his too.
Hold your hands such that the angle of the elbow is about 90-120 degrees, brushing the outside of your hips with each arm swing.
2. Perform HIGH INTENSITY ROUTINES
- High Intensity Intervals. Alternate walking at a level 7 effort (of 1 to 10 levels, with 10 being the highest effort) for 3 minutes with walking at a level 4 effort, for at least 5 repetitions. Warm-up and Cool down 5 minutes each time, at level 3 effort
- Hill Walks: Repeat walking up and down the same hill, or walk on hilly terrain. If the same hill/incline, find one with a gentle to moderate slope that you can climb in about 30-60 seconds. Repeat the uphill/downhill walk 5 times. Then walk on a level surface for 2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times, such that the duration is about 30 minutes. Warm-up and cool-down 5 minutes each time, at easy effort.
- Skipping sequences: Insert skipping into your walks; low skips initially, progressing to slow high knee skips if you have the aerobic capacity and strength and balance to do so. Start with 2 minutes brisk walking, then skip 15-30 seconds, Repeat this walk-skip sequence 5 times. Then walk at a lower easy effort for 2 minutes. Repeat this set 2-3 times if able, such that the total duration is about 30 minutes. Warm-up and cool-down 5 minutes each time, at easy effort.
3. Incorporate BODYWEIGHT STRENGTH EXERCISES at set intervals.
- Walk loops in a park or area where there are benches or low walls on which you can perform the exercises each time you reach one.
- Triceps dips, and modified push-ups can be done on the benches. Sturdy low walls work well for step-ups/downs. Try doing them first in a forward direction, 5-10 times each leg stepping up, then from the side, each leg 5-10 times. Repeat this forward/side set 2-3 times, resting 1-2 minutes between each set. Planks can be done anywhere on the ground but may be most comfortable on a nice patch of grass or track surface.
-Be alert to your surroundings for personal safety at all times, especially if you are walking predictable loops.
- Pay attention to your body’s hydration needs, as always in the warmed months.
You should be able to detect a PATTERN in the high-intensity routines: interval walks, hill repeats, and skipping intervals. Aim to be performing the main exercise effort for about 30 minutes, with 5 minutes of easier effort before and after.
Make it a GOAL to complete one of these workouts on each of 4 days of a 7-day week. Accomplishing this weekly level of exercise for your health is like sweeping a major sports championship, winning 4 of 7 ‘games’ …every week!
THESE TACTICS WORK FOR RUNNING ALSO! An earlier post has a similar message for runners.
RUN AND WALK HAPPY!
NOTE:There will be a related upcoming post:
“Summer Challenge IV: Walkers ‘Championship Series Sweep’ “
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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