Pleasant weather is here and you may be walking more to take advantage of the outdoors. So, why not ramp up your routine with spurts of fast-paced walking? This technique popularly known as interval walking is the best way to get more exercise bang without spending hours at the gym. In this article know all about interval walking and how you can get started with it.

What is Interval Walking?

Interval walking is a form of interval training which is basically any form of exercise wherein you purposely speed up the intensity or slow down at regular intervals throughout the workout session. The benefits of interval training are well documented and produce the best outcomes for athletes, commoners, people suffering from diabetes, and those in cardiac rehabilitation.

Just walking for the sake of walking is good, but not good enough. You need to get strenuous exercise done in order to improve your lung capacity, endurance, and overall fitness. What better way to get it done than introducing intervals of high intensity and low intensity with the simplest form of exercise of walking?

Additionally, interval walking will also help you burn more calories and aid in weight loss along with other health benefits. Recently a study was undertaken to research the effects of interval walking on physical fitness and blood pressure in middle aged and older adults. In this study, it was proved that interval walking was highly beneficial to protect against age-associated increases in blood pressure and peak aerobic capacity.

Work Your Way Up

When you are ready to start your interval walking, be sure to start slowly. Introduce one or two segments of fast-paced walking into your 20 or 30-minute walk. Each segment should last at least a minute or two. Try it out for few weeks and build up the pace. The pace of your high-intensity interval should allow you to push yourself as much as you can.

Gradually add more intervals to your routine with the ultimate goal of walking 50% at high intensity. Play around with it, have fun while you are at it and work out what’s best for you.

Getting Started

When you decide to undertake interval walking, strive to stay within your limits and not overdo in the beginning. Build up your routine gradually. Also, before attempting talk to your doctor if you have heart diseases or joint pain.

Remember to also dedicate a good five minutes to warm up and cool down as part of your interval walking routine. Here’s a basic interval walking routine you can follow,

  • Warm Up
  • Brisk Walk – 1 Minute
  • Moderate Pace – 2 Minutes
  • Walk as Fast as Possible without sprinting – 1 Minute
  • Slow Walk – 2 minutes
  • Brisk Walk – 1 Minute
  • Walk at Moderate Pace – 2 Minutes
  • Walk as Fast as Possible without sprinting – 1 Minute
  • Slow Walk – 2 minutes
  • Continue the same cycle for 30 minutes
  • Cool Down

The beauty of interval walking is that you can design your own routine as per your preference and capacity but just be sure to intersperse the walking with bursts of intense walking and slow walking with a definite frequency throughout your walking session.

Interval Walking Tips and Tricks

Here are some important tips for you to get started with interval walking and reap its maximum benefits:

1. The Right Path

The route you select for walking is very important. Ensure that you choose a smooth terrain since you will not have much time to avoid potential hazards while breaking a sweat. Going up and down the hill will also count as interval walking by walking up the hill during the burst and walk down for recovery.

Else you can also use a treadmill, by cranking up the speed or incline for a minute or two to get your hearts, lungs, and muscles work harder and then slow down.
If you are unable to go outdoor, you can also do interval walking indoors within a room.

2. Keep Track of the Time

Interspersing 60 seconds or 30 seconds of fast-paced intervals to your routine will be hard if you don’t keep track of time. Save yourself the hassle by wearing a watch, digital watch, or fitbits.

Another idea is to use landmarks when you are walking around your neighborhood like stores, mailboxes and more.

3. Right Posture for Pace

At times walking at a faster pace might not seem as easy as it sounds. Maintain the right posture to walk fast, resist the urge to increase your stride and instead focus on a quicker turnover.

Pump your arms to let your foot stay in rhythm, keep your chin up, keep your shoulders back and down without letting them round forward. Your chest should be tight, low back straight and relax your hips by moving them forward not to the side.

4. Invest in Walking Shoes

The difference between walking and running shoes is subtle, but it can impact your comfort during exercise. A walking stride is different from running and since your body will not absorb more impact, the cushioning requirements vary as well.

Walking shoes are designed to be more flexible through the ball of the foot, provide better arch support and their heels are flat and not raised slightly than the toe as is the case with most running shoes.

Walk off the Weight

Take your walking routine to the next level with interval walking and boost your fitness and cardiovascular health in particular. You will probably find that interval walking flies by more quickly than steady pace walking which can also tend to bore you.


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