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mother and daughter walking in the forestWalking can be a great way to remain active and healthy. Studies show a wide range of benefits from walking at least three times per week, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower risk of diabetes, less stress and enhanced cognitive function. It has one of the lowest injury rates of any form of exercise and doesn’t require any special equipment. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Get the most out of every walking workout with these tips.

  • Pick up the pace. While a leisurely stroll is still good, a brisk walk will get your heart pumping and help burn calories. Try walking to the beat of a fast song or find playlists set to a certain number of beats per minute (BPM). These will get you moving in no time.
  • Search for hills. Walking uphill is especially beneficial because it challenges your leg and stomach muscles to work harder and keep you balanced. Hills can also provide for some beautiful scenery as a bonus!
  • Pump your arms. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and swing them back and forth in rhythm with your steps. This will help tone your arms while you walk.
  • Add some weight. You can use a weighted vest, a backpack, ankle weights or wrist weights to up the intensity of your walk.
  • Challenge your friends. If you have a friendly competition going, you’ll find extra motivation to get moving. Having a walking buddy is a great way to motivate yourself to walk! Studies show exercise buddies help people to exercise more often and for longer periods.
  • Check out apps. There are plenty of health and fitness apps for your phone that will help you keep track of steps taken, speed and distance.
  • Go the extra mile. The best way to improve your walks is to simply walk more. Try adding five or ten extra minutes onto your walk.