Do you want an easy workout that will not only improve your fitness level, it will help you lose weight and save your sanity?
Who am I kidding? Of
course you do.
You might be
surprised to know that I’m actually talking about a walking
That thing that most
of us do everyday. That we’ve been doing for quite a few years. Ok,
some more than others...me. I’m the some.
It’s the stage of
toddlerhood that every parent looks forward to and dreads in equal
It is a great way to
workout and by turning it into a HIIT workout you’ll have all of
the benefits I mentioned above.
So, what are we
waiting for. Let’s do it…
Can such a simple
and easy form of exercise really be a good workout?
Yes it can.
That’s the short
For the longer
answer I’d ask you to remember how you felt the last time you got
home after a day of nice brisk walking.
slightly tingling as you transition from the cold outside to the
warmth of your home. Your cheeks slightly pink from the fresh breeze.
You feel refreshed.
Tired but strangely energised. Happier. Less agitated.
A favourite of
Thomas Jefferson, A. L. Rowse and Hippocrates, walking has for many
years been known to get not only your body moving but your mind
Yes, it’s great.
Great for mental
health, cardiovascular health and for staving off diseases like type
2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
And it’s so
Once you’ve learnt
to walk, and your parents never sat still again, it’s something you
can do at any stage in your life.
for healing from injuries, operations. The first thing the nurses
wanted me to do after my c-section was to get on my feet and start
Legs still slightly
numb from the anaesthetic, I clung onto the nurse and my catheter for
dear life. But she wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Walk around the room
I had to.
Older adults, anyone
needing low-impact way to move their bodies, walking is great. All
you need is a decent pair of shoes.
But, how can this
accessible, easy form of movement help you lose weight, lose that
baby weight? Get a bit fitter? Fit enough so you can chase your
toddler around all day and not feel exhausted by the end of it?
Well, that’s all
about how you do it rather than what you’re doing
A HIIT walking
workout will do it.
HIIT workouts, or
high intensity interval training to give it it’s full name, is a
type of workout where you have short intervals of intense movement.
Then you have a short period of rest.
It helps to get your
heart rate up to it’s near maximum and the short rest will bring it
back down again.
You can get up to
max heart rate because it’s only for a short period.
This form of
workout, whatever type of exercise you’re using it with, is an
amazing way to to get to any fitness goals you might have.
decreased body fat, increased cardiovascular fitness. They are all
side effects of including some HIIT into your workout routine.
You see, it’s all
to do with the calorie burn.
You go out for a 30
minute walk at a brisk pace you’ll burn approximately 149 calories.
But, if you do a
HIIT walking workout, you’ll burn more than that, some reports have
it at about 500 for a 30 minute workout. But you carry on burning
calories, not at that level, for about 24 hours after your workout.
So yes, walking really can help with fat loss, weight loss, and general fitness.
For a walking HIIT workout you’d vary the intensity and/or speed of your walk.
You might also throw in a few other exercises, a few body weight exercises for example. Spoiler alert, one of the workouts below may have a few body weight exercises thrown in.
You’re going for a
walk. But where are you going to walk. Have an idea in your head
before you go. Somewhere you feel comfortable. Somewhere you can do
bodyweight exercises as well as walk. Somewhere you know the way.
There is nothing
worse than getting through half of the workout and wondering where
the hell you’re going to walk next.
Remember you will be
walking at speed. So a walk you normally do in 30 minutes will
probably take you less time.
Can you loop around and do it again? Can you turn around and retrace your steps?
Where are you going to go?
during your workout is really important. Especially when you’re
doing a HIIT workout.
You lose water as
you workout, sweat evaporates from from skin to remove excess heat,
but it also takes fluid from your body.
That puts you at
risk of dehydration. And if you’re dehydrated you can’t regulate
your body temperature. And that will raise your heart rate.
So make sure you’ve
got plenty of water and water bottles that are good for walking.
whether they’re HIIT walking workouts, bodyweight workouts, or
running workouts, are intense. They’re draining. They take it out
So you will need a
decent amount of rest in between your workouts.
Yes HIIT is great
but it’s not a case of more is better.
When it comes to
HIIT more is just more.
So have a least one
day in between each workout to fully replenish your energy levels.
Make it either complete rest or active recovery. Whilst complete rest
might not be wholly possible, active recovery might be a little
easier. That might look like an easy walk at a gentle pace.
As we know HIIT is
predominantly a cardio workout, but we can’t forget about strength.
Strength training is
SO important for us women.
As we get older our
bones start to become weaker. Our oestrogen levels start to decrease,
and oestrogen is essential for good bone health.
helps to improve your bone density.
Your muscles are
attached to your bones and when you stress your muscles they pull on
your bones which makes your bones grow.
They become more dense.
They prepare your
body for the next stage, whether it’s the warm up preparing your
body for the workout, or the cool down preparing your body for being
Warming up is a
great opportunity to mobilise your whole body, but you should also do
some specific activity warming up to make sure the muscles you’ll
be using are primed and ready to go.
For a HIIT walking
workout you’ll want to start a slow walk, gradually increasing your
walking speed to a brisk pace. When you finish you should be fast
At the other end of
your workout, so cooling down, return to an easier pace of walk and
follow it with some static stretching.
Standing with you
feet hip width apart, engage your core and sink your bum back and
down by bending your knees.
Keep sinking until
your thighs are roughly parallel with the floor.
Return to standing
by pushing through your heels. Keep your chest lifted throughout.
Start in a high
plank position, on the balls of your feet, hands under your
Keeping your elbows
close to your body lower your torso as close to the floor as you can.
Don’t let your body actually touch the floor.
Push back up to the starting position.
They key with a push up is to get as close to the floor as you can, if you need a little help with this, then put your knees on the floor.
When you’re outside either find some grass to do push ups on, or put your hands on a park bench instead of underneath you.
This is a great
exercise for balance and coordination. It’s also really great for
Stand with your feet
hip-width apart and engage your core.
Breathe in and lift
your right arm and left leg, bending your left knee but keeping your
right arm straight.
Stop when your arm
is straight up, fingers pointing to the sky and your thigh is roughly
parallel to the floor.
Breathe out and
return to the start before you repeat with your left arm and right
With all of these workouts try to keep your walk at a steady pace.
Yes you should be walking as quickly as you can, but try to keep the pace for the required amount of time.
It’s very easy to
try and go all out for the first 15 seconds but then you have to slow
the pace down and before you know it you’re walking at a moderate
pace, rather than doing a high-intensity workout.
workouts are planned for outside walking, so you get some nice fresh
air, they can be adapted into a HIIT treadmill workout quite easily.
This one is all
about simplicity. If you want to make this harder then you can add in
weights, in your hands or around your ankles, or walk up a hill. Or
Keep going for 15
minutes, although you can go for longer if you have the time. I’d
limit this to an hour though. And make sure you warm up and cool
For this one you
will need a hill. I’m going to leave it to you as to how steep the
hill is. Obviously it will depend on what you have locally and your
current fitness level.
This is an EMOM, so
every minute on the minute for 15 minutes complete the required
movements. Again, if you have longer you can go for longer. Or add in
one of the other workouts.
You change direction in this one, but your body should change direction. Always walk up hill.
Make sure you keep a fast speed with this one.
You can always increase, or decrease, the number of steps if it doesn’t quite work for you.
We’re going to add
in a few bodyweight exercises with this workout to build your muscle
strength as well as your cardiovascular capacity.
Again you can make
this harder by adding in weights or walking up hill.
This is an AMRAP, so
how many rounds can you do in 15 minutes resting where you need to.
There’s not going to be much scope for increasing the amount of
rounds because the walk is timed, but, as you get fitter the
bodyweight exercises should take you less time and you shouldn’t
need as many recovery periods.
Also, feel free to change the exercises around a bit. You could focus on upper body or just lower body exercises.
Walking is an
amazing form of exercise.
It really does have
a positive effect on your physical and mental health. And, if you
turn it into a HIIT workout you’ll not only be feeling good, you’ll
be looking good.
So. What are you
Go get walking.
Don’t forget to let me know how you get on.
And if you want an 8
week HIIT workout plan, get it below...