HIIT Walking Workout: Make A Simple Exercise an Effective Workout

Can walking really be an effective workout? One that helps you lose weight, get fitter and get happier? Absolutely. Try a HIIT Walking Workout...

Beth's 1 Week Meal Plan

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

meal plan thumbnail

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 workout.


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 measure.


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…

HIIT Walking Workout. How can a simple exercise be turned into an effective workout

Jump Straight to the Workout

Can A HIIT Walking Workout Really Be That Good?

Can such a simple and easy form of exercise really be a good workout?

Yes it can.

The end.


That’s the short answer anyway.

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.

Your fingers 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 moving.

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 accessible.

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.

It’s recommended 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 moving.

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.

Believe me.

What are the benefits of doing a walking workout?

What The HELL Is A HIIT Walking Workout?

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.

Weight loss, 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.

A Few Tips to Make Your HIIT Walking Workout Go Smoothly

A few useful tips to get you on your way to a successful walking workout

1. Know where you’re going.

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?

2. Drink plenty of water.

Keeping hydrated 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.

3. Get Plenty of Rest Days

HIIT workouts, whether they’re HIIT walking workouts, bodyweight workouts, or running workouts, are intense. They’re draining. They take it out of you.

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.

4. Don’t forget strength training.

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.

Strength training 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.

5. Start every Workout With a Warm Up and End it With a Cool Down

Warming up and cooling down are important before any workout you do. Not just HIIT workouts.

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 at rest.

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 walking.

At the other end of your workout, so cooling down, return to an easier pace of walk and follow it with some static stretching.

What Will You Be Doing For Your HIIT Walking Workout?

As always, please make sure you can do all of the following exercises with good form. If you’re struggling seek advice from a certified personal trainer. If you can’t, or don’t want to, see one locally then do get in touch.

I’d be happy go through proper form with you.

Also, I know I mentioned above that walking is a great form of exercise, but, if you are suffering from any medical conditions, please speak to a doctor before you start this, or any other workout.

One of the workouts below involves a few body weight exercises.

This is to give you a bit of choice and mix it up a bit, but also make sure we’re working on increasing muscle strength as well as giving you good cardio workouts.

I’ve chosen squat, push up and standing bird dog, as I find them the best exercises to do outside. Feel free to change this up and add in any exercises you enjoy, feel comfortable doing outside.


How to do a squat in your walking workout

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.

Push Up

How to do a push up in your walking workout

Start in a high plank position, on the balls of your feet, hands under your shoulders.

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.

Standing Bird Dog

This is a great exercise for balance and coordination. It’s also really great for your core.

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 leg.

HIIT Walking Workout: The Workouts

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.

Whilst these workouts are planned for outside walking, so you get some nice fresh air, they can be adapted into a HIIT treadmill workout quite easily.

Keep It Simple

A simple, but very effective walking workout. Get your heart rate and your fitness levels up.

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 both.

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 down.

  • 45 seconds brisk pace walk
  • 15 seconds easy walk

Add in a Hill and a Change of Direction

Add in a hill and change of direction to your walking workout for a bit of spice and variety

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.

  • 10 paces forward
  • 10 paces sideways
  • 10 paces backwards
  • 10 paces sideways, the other side

Add in some body weight exercises

Walking workout with bodyweight exercises to work on muscle strength as well as your cardio capacity

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.

  • 1 minute power walking
  • 10 bodyweight squats
  • 1 minute power walking
  • 10 push ups (use a park bench if you need to)
  • 1 minute power walking
  • 10 standing bird dog

Where Are You Going For Your HIIT Walking Workout?

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 waiting for?

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...

Get Your Ultimate Eight Week HIIT Workout Plan

Get fitter, stronger and leaner in just eight weeks with my printable HIIT workout Plan. Just 30 minutes a day is all you need. 

Want to know more before you sign up?

Check out Printable HIIT Workout Plan to learn all about the plan, what's involved and why you should get it. 

You might like these