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The 3 Easy Walking Workouts You'll Actually Enjoy, Trainer Says

Spruce up your typical cardio routine, and feel the calorie burn while you're at it.

Ah, how refreshing it feels to head into the good ol' outdoors for a walk in the sunshine. Whether you hit up your favorite trail, head to the beach, or do some cardio around your neighborhood, getting into a regular walking routine works wonders for the mind, body, and soul. It can give you the mood and energy boost you're looking for, make your bones and muscles stronger, help you shed excess body fat, and prevent certain health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Let's get real: Doing the same exercises at the gym can be pretty mundane, so we've put together three easy walking workouts you'll actually look forward to doing.

We spoke with Laura Endres, a personal trainer on Fyt, about the very best walking workouts you'll want to add to your fitness regimen. (For those of you who don't know, Fyt is the largest personal training service in the nation that makes fitness under the expert guidance of an in-person or virtual, certified fitness professional convenient and accessible for everyone.) So grab your walking buddy or do these workouts solo. Regardless, you'll be burning calories and having a great time while getting in some much-needed cardio.

Check out these simple walking workouts below, and next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

1

Fast-Slow Intervals

woman dressed in bright colors doing walking workout along beach
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"I don't know what it is about intervals, but I love them so much," Endres tells us. "It's easier to wrap my head around a fast interval when you know it has a distinct end, allowing you to push yourself. Alternating speeds and difficulty levels give you something to focus on (besides your heavy breathing and burning muscles). You get the best of both worlds—the benefits of higher-intensity work (faster paces or hills) and the active recovery work (slower paces)."

Endres outlines interval suggestions for different fitness levels, from beginner to advanced, depending on where you're at.

Beginners

  • Warm-Up: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 5 minutes.
  • Intervals: Alternate 30-second fast-paced with 1-minute moderately-paced (x8).
  • Cool-Down: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 5 minutes. Then, stretch it out.

Endres explains the quick 30-second interval is when you should walk at the quickest pace possible while maintaining good form, pumping your arms, and performing fast step turnover. (If you're doing this walking workout on a treadmill or in an area with hills, Endres says you can march at an incline.)

Once 30 seconds are up, it's time to slow down and walk at a moderate pace—"the pace you use to get from your car to the storefront; not terribly fast, but not super slow, either," as Endres puts it.

Intermediate

  • Warm-Up: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 5 minutes.
  • Work Intervals: Alternate 1-minute fast-paced with 1-minute moderately-paced (x10).
  • Cool-Down: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 5 minutes. Then, stretch.

For the fast-paced 1-minute interval, walk at the quickest pace you can successfully maintain. Eventually, Endres points out this could turn into a light run or sprint. (If you're doing this walking workout on a treadmill or in an area with hills, march at an incline.) Then, slow down to your 1-minute moderate pace until you begin the next interval.

Advanced

  • Warm-Up: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 3 minutes, then run, keeping that moderate pace for 3 minutes.
  • Work Intervals: Alternate a 30-second sprint with a 30 to 60-second walk (x15).
  • Cool-Down: Assume a moderate pace while walking for 5 minutes. Then, stretch.

Related: Jumpstart Weight Loss With This 10-Minute Workout, Trainer Says

2

Cardio + Strength Intervals

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If you want to kill two birds with one stone—aka work on your cardio and strength at the same time—this will likely be your new favorite workout. "Alternate intervals of walking with strength exercises. Incorporate training exercises like squats, step-ups onto park benches or curbs, and inclined pushups on retaining walls. Or, take a resistance band or set of light dumbbells with you for even more variety," Endres explains.

Feel free to select any exercises that make the most sense based on your personal fitness goals and the equipment you have at the ready. Endres continues to say it's crucial to practice and be 100% comfortable with your form before even thinking about incorporating dumbbells.

This is what a cardio + strength intervals workout could look like:

  • 1-minute walk (or you can walk from one corner to the next, however long that may take)
  • 10 to 20 squats
  • 10 to 15 overhead dumbbell presses (Stand up straight as you hold two dumbbells at your shoulders. Your palms should be facing forward. Breathe out as you press the dumbbells up above your head.)
  • 1-minute walk
  • 5 to 10 lunges per leg (You can use a tree, sturdy street sign, or retaining wall for balance.)
  • 10 to 15 inclined pushups (You can use a sturdy park bench or retaining wall for this exercise. Endres notes, "The higher the incline, the easier these are!" Opt for the ground or on a curb for a more advanced movement.)
  • Repeat until 30 minutes are up.

Related: Speed Up Belly Fat Loss In Your 60s With These Floor Exercises, Trainer Says

3

The Penny Walk

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This workout is a super fun way to spruce up your typical walk around the neighborhood or your local community. Lace up your sneakers and grab a penny, then you're good to head outside.

Endres instructs, "Decide when you'll flip the coin, either after 1 minute of walking or when you arrive at a corner. Then, decide what heads and tails mean!" She adds, "The ideas are endless! And this can be a really fun way to include the family—especially kids. They'll love flipping the coin, and I bet they'll come up with some fun ideas for the flips, too."

Some ideas to get you started:

  • If you flip heads, turn left; flip tails, turn right. Just make sure you don't get lost!
  • If you flip heads, jog the next block; flip tails, walk backward for 30 seconds—safely, of course.
  • If you flip heads, perform 15 squats; flip tails, complete 15 jumping jacks.
  • If you flip heads, perform 30 seconds of side skips, right and left; flip tails, hold a plank for 30 seconds.

For more…

man doing exercise with dumbbells outdoors along winter walk
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For more cardio inspiration, check out The Best Ways To Increase Your Visceral Fat Burn While Walking, Trainer Says and The Best Outdoor Cardio Exercises To Get Toned Fast, Trainer Says.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more
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