Your Slim and Strong Walking Workout
Walk your way slim
Want to make every step count? Supercharge your stroll and get fit like never before.
Walk it off
Running may get all the cardio cred, but walking scores just as high where it counts. Weight loss? Check. Mood boost? Check. Easy on the joints? Major check. We tapped Harley Pasternak—trainer to Jennifer Hudson and Katy Perry—to create three 40-minute calorie sizzlers. One caveat: You've really got to get moving to maximize calorie burn. "You need to move with a purpose," says Pasternak.
How to optimize calorie burn
Aim for 4 mph for a very brisk pace and 3 mph for a moderate one, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Sing aloud while you walk—if you can belt out the chorus to your favorite song with ease, you need to speed things up. Pick a plan, then do two sets of each move whenever the right "prop" presents itself (or at the end of your walk). Do five sessions a week and you'll not only get double the burn of a so-so stroll, but you'll firm up all over in just two weeks—no running required.
Tone up in town: The walk
Alternate between walking three or four city or neighborhood blocks at a very brisk pace (intensity-wise, think 8 on a scale of 10) and one block at a moderate pace (5 or 6 on a scale of 10). Repeat for a total of four times.
Tone up in town: Step-up
Stand in front of bench, stoop, or steps. Step left foot up onto bench;press into it to lift to standing on that foot. Slowly lower back down until right foot touches ground. Do 20 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Tone up in town: Close grip push-up
Get into push-up position, arms straight, hands close on back of bench. Tighten abs. Bend elbows to lower down; push back up. Do 10 reps.
Tone up in town: Standing back row
Stand facing pole, lamppost, or slim, sturdy tree. Clasp it with both hands, feet together; slowly "fall" backward. Using upper back and biceps, slowly pull yourself back toward pole. Do 20 reps.
Tone up in town: Walking lunge
Step left leg forward; lower into lunge with knees at 90 degrees, front knee over ankle (as shown). Push into left heel, rise up; repeat on right. Alternate for 1 minute.
Hit the trail: The walk
Alternate 6 minutes at a very brisk pace with 1 minute at a moderate pace. Repeat for a total of four times.
Hit the trail: Single-leg hamstring curl
With right hand on tree, shift weight to right leg. Slowly bend and lift left knee, engaging hamstring to bring lower leg high behind you (as shown); lower foot. Do 20 reps per leg.
Hit The Trail: Triceps Dip
Sit with knees bent, feet flat, hands by hips with fingers forward. Push into hands and feet; raise up into reverse tabletop. Bend elbows to lower butt; come back up. Do 20 reps.
Hit The Trail: Jump-Up
With feet hip-width, bend knees, push hips back; come into squat with arms down. Push into balls of feet; jump up, arms reaching up. Land softly in squat. Do 20 reps.
Hit the trail: Standing side crunch
Stand with feet shoulder-width, hands behind head. Lift right knee to side; pull right elbow down. Return to start; repeat on left side; that's 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
Train at the Track: The Walk
Alternate doing one or two very brisk-paced laps with one moderate-paced lap. Repeat five times.
Train at the track: Double stair walk
Step left foot onto first bleacher step; press into it to lift to standing. Step right foot onto third step (as shown); continue to walk quickly up 2 stairs at a time. At top, walk back down (1 step at a time) at moderate pace to recover. Repeat for 1 minute.
Train at the track: Squat and jump
With feet shoulder-width, squat down, put hands on ground. Jump feet back to push-up position; do push-up. Jump forward into squat; jump high, arms reaching up. Land softly; that's 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
Train at the track: Grapevine walk
With right side facing stairs, step right foot onto first step; quickly cross left foot in front onto second step. Bring right foot from behind left leg onto third step. Continue alternating; at top, walk down normally. After 1 minute, switch sides and repeat.
Train at the track: Plank
Get into "up" part of push-up with hands on bottom bleacher step, arms straight, hands directly below shoulders (as shown); body should form straight line. Feet should be hip-width, elbows shoulder-width. Contract abs; hold for 1 minute.