Verse of the Day:
Genesis 13:17“Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”
This is a re-post from last year. since it fits with April being a stress awareness month and walking being a wonderful way to reduce stress, I thought I would share it again.
Walking outdoors is so beneficial and like any other cardiovascular exercise, brisk walking boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression. Unlike any other cardiovascular exercise, you don’t need to go to a gym or have any special equipment. All you need is a great pair of shoes and socks and you are ready to go. In sunny California spring is in the air and that makes walking outdoors so enjoyable. The trees have bloomed and now the flowers are coming up and the birds are singing. They are all inviting you to go outside and go for a walk.
If you want to walk, but you want to boost your walking, here are five ideas to make your walks more interesting.
These 5 walks will also exercise your whole body.
1. A “pole” Walk
For this, grab a pole like a PVC pipe or an ash rake handle or a broomstick. Then set out on a walk. Every hundred yards or so, stop for exercises such as:
-Overhead squats holding the pole overhead while maintaining tension on both ends of the pole
-Walking lunges while twisting the pole to one side or the other
-Mountain climbers while holding the pole against the ground
-Overhead shoulder passes from the front of the hips to the back of the hips with the pole.
I would use a resistance band for this walk. Any of you Leslie Sansone fans who have the Miracle Miles band can easily do this.
2. Breathhold Walk
Head out on a walk with the goal of breathing through your nose the entire time using a pattern of 4 count in, 4 count hold, 4 count out, 4 count hold (this is called box breathing). About every five minutes, take a deep breath and simply hold your breath for as long as possible.
3. Jumping Jack Walks
Simply go on a walk and every five to ten minutes, you stop and do jumping jacks. Do as many as you need to in order to get your heart rate boosted. That’s it…that’s simple!
I like this one. I do low impact jumping jacks. Click on the link below to watch a video demonstration.
4. Uphill Hikes with Breathholds Back Down
Pick a steep hill or mountain and walk up it as fast as you can for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. This is the hardest part of the workout. Then, when you get as far as you want to go, turn back around and do workout #2 (the breathhold walk above) as you walk back down the hill, often side winding from side to side.
I love the uphill hikes. When we go to the lake there is one very steep hill with a path for hiking. I call this Ass Burner Hill. All it takes is one hike up and back down and my butt is burning! It feels good though when I’ve accomplished it. I try to make it the last part of my hike so then I can go stretch and relax when I’m done.
5. Kettlebell or Heavy Object Walk
Put a backpack on and place a weight, a rock, and then walk as far out and as far back as you can. Alternatively, you can grab a heavy object such as a kettlebell or dumbbell, and go on a long walk, but stop every few minutes for exercises such as kettlebell swings, presses, goblet squats, or any other resistance based exercise.
Keep on walking! If it is still too cold or the weather is not cooperating where you live to go outside and walk, do an indoor walk! Here is one of my favorites: Leslie Sansone and the Happy Mile Walk.