Walk To Tone Your Legs

People hiking
Two people are walking briskly with packs. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

In today’s day and age, many people spend most of their day sitting, whether they are at work or relaxing at home. It is important, however, to get up off our seats and walk at least 10,000 steps every day to stay healthy. This is considered approximately 5 miles. You can also walk to tone your legs and improve the way you look and feel about yourself. Walking is a low-impact exercise that everyone can benefit from. There are also some creative walking techniques you can do to make your walking workout more interesting and effective.

Side Step

Who says you always have to walk forward? Side stepping will challenge your legs in new ways, working your hips, inner and outer thighs and calves. If you’re on a treadmill, place one hand on the rail in front of you and the other hand on a rail to your side. Switch sides and be sure to walk an equal amount of time on each side to balance the workout for your entire body.

Walk Uphill Both Backwards and Forwards

Walking uphill both backwards and forwards will increase the intensity of your workout and help to tone your quadriceps, glutes and calves. If you're walking on a treadmill, set it to the highest incline and walk forward at a speed of 3.0 and backward at a speed of 2.5. If this is too difficult, lower the incline or reduce the speed. If you're outside and walking backwards, be careful of what is behind you. Glance over your shoulder often and avoid potholes.

Interval Training

Interval training on the treadmill and outside can help you bring your walking workout to new heights, burn more calories, get your heart pumping and your legs burning. Essentially, interval training involves varying the intensity of your workout. Start with a five-minute warm-up at a comfortable pace. Follow your warm-up with a brisk walk for five or ten minutes. You should be breathing hard but not so hard that you can't carry on a conversation. Alternate between slow and brisk walks. If you’re walking on a treadmill, implement different inclines to mimic climbing up and down hills. Start with a 20-minute routine and build up to 60 minutes.

Find Inspiration

Walking and exercising in general can sometimes feel like an onerous task. To make walking more enjoyable, walk with a friend or a group of people. Motivate each other to create a routine and stick to it. You can also make a sweet playlist to listen to while you’re walking, and you can change up your route to keep things fresh. Pick routes that have interesting scenery and hills if possible to help further tone your legs. If you’re artistically minded, bring a camera with you and view every walking trip as an opportunity to explore a new place and capture beautiful images. Remember to enjoy yourself.

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