Updated September 22, 2020Walking at least three times a week for 30 minutes provides a plethora of health benefits, including strengthened muscles, lowered high blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and healthy blood sugar levels. Walking is a simple, low-impact exercise that burns calories and tones muscles.Our article shares eight ways to walk your way to fitness and includes other helpful tips to improve your walking routine.Set a Brisk PaceStart each walk at an easy pace for five minutes to warm up the muscles. Then, pick up the pace, so you’re walking briskly to increase your exercise level to moderate intensity, and maintain a fast pace for at least 30 minutes. A quicker pace burns more calories and engages more muscle groups, including the hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings.Practice Good PostureTry to maintain good walking posture; otherwise, you may not get the full workout your body needs, and you could be at a higher risk of injury. Don’t hunch your shoulders forward—the back should be straight and the shoulders relaxed. As you walk, raise your head so the chin is parallel to the ground. If you look down as you walk, you’re placing strain on your neck and shoulders.Track the TimeTry to make walking an aerobic exercise, working the muscles, lungs, and heart. You can do this by walking at your target heart rate every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day.Make Walking a HabitMake it a habit and create a program so you’re walking at least three times a week. Setting goals can turn walking into a healthy habit, and you’ll be less likely to put it off. Also, try to walk whenever possible, like walking around your office building during break or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.Use WeightsFor a better workout, carry a 2-pound dumbbell in each hand. Holding these lighter weights at chest level as you walk engages the abs and shoulders, and can burn more calories than just walking with your arms swinging at your sides.Be Weather ReadyBefore walking, dress for the weather and plan your route accordingly. During the warmer seasons, the best times to walk are early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s not so hot outside. Wear synthetic clothing instead of cotton, because synthetic materials wick away moisture so you stay cool. Apply sunblock and wear a hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.In the colder months, wear breathable layers, but only wear enough layers, so you feel slightly chilly before you start your walk. As you walk, the body will warm up, and you won’t overheat.Watch Your DietWhen it comes to weight loss, regular exercise is half the battle—the other half is diet. Try to avoid processed foods and foods high in fat, sugar, and salt, including potato chips, ice cream, and fast food. Incorporate fresh fruits, low-carb vegetables, and lean protein into your meals, and limit your portion sizes. And pack healthy snacks to take with you on the go or to work so you can avoid cravings. Talk with a healthcare provider to find out more about weight loss programs.Add Variety to Your WalkingInstead of walking at the same pace for your entire walk, change it up by alternating between brisk walking and power walking. Modifying the pace tones more muscle groups and can turn a walking workout into a full-body workout.Other TipsOther tips to further help you walk your way to fitness include choosing the right walking shoes, staying hydrated, and walking with a buddy. These tips further improve your walk and help you perform at your best.Walking ShoesWalking requires a good pair of walking shoes, instead of basic tennis shoes to support and cushion your feet. Even though walking is a low-impact exercise, your feet are still continually hitting the ground and need shock absorption to reduce impact. Shoes that don’t have enough cushion could lead to injury or knee pain.Stay HydratedCarry a bottle of water as you walk—don’t wait until your walk is over to hydrate. Staying hydrated regulates body temperature and cushions the joints. Water also reduces the risk of injury and boosts recovery time.Grab a Walking BuddyA walking buddy is another great motivator. If you have a friend to walk with regularly, you’re less likely to put off your walking program.FAQsCan you lose belly fat by walking?Walking is an excellent way to burn belly fat, but you’ll need to walk for longer than 30 minutes a day to trim your waistline. Visceral fat is fat in the belly and waist, and it’s linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Walking at least 45 minutes each day allows the body to burn this fat. Generally, walking at an easy pace for 30 minutes only burns off water and sugar, but increasing the pace to raise your heart rate is best for burning visceral fat.Does walking tone thighs?Walking at a quick pace improves muscle tone in your lower body and burns more calories. Increasing your speed and walking time burns more energy and engages more muscles than walking around a store. Walking tones muscles in the lower body, including quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings also work your core muscles.Is it better to walk longer or run shorter?Running burns more calories than walking because running is more intense. However, you can burn the same amount of calories by walking—you just need to walk for long stretches of time. Walking is a low-impact exercise and a better option than running for those with joint issues. Walk for 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes to burn off the same number of calories as jogging.Should I stretch before or after a workout?The best time to stretch is both before and after a workout. Stretching before exercise warms up your muscles and makes them more pliable, so you’re less likely to injure yourself. Stretching after a workout improves recovery time by cooling the body down and increasing blood flow to the muscles, helping them heal quickly.How long does it take to see results from walking?If you walk for at least 30 minutes every day, you’ll start to notice muscle gain and weight loss. You’ll have a better posture and your clothes will fit better. It does take time, but once you establish a routine, you’ll start to burn calories and lose weight.ConclusionInstead of feeling like walking is a waste of time, change your routine to work your lower body by alternating between walking briskly and power walking. Other tips, like finding the right shoes and walking with a buddy, can further improve your walking experience.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.