Time: 45 minutes
Walking for exercise to focus and destress is a wonderful, medium-intensity way to get your cardio up, tone, and relax. However, if you are ready to kick up the intensity and include some strength training in your workout, then you should try incorporating some simple exercises into your walk. These will help break up the monotony of your usual routine and work your muscles in new ways so that you get a well-rounded, full-body workout.
This routine is meant for a 30-45 minute walk. Start by stretching and warming-up as usual, then for every ten minutes you walk, stop and do one of these exercises before continuing on your route.
The Park Bench Push-Up
Stand facing a park bench and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the seat. Walk your legs out and plant your feet behind you so that you are braced against the bench in a standard push-up position, making sure that your body is in a straight line from your legs, up your back, to the top of your head. This position actively engages your core muscles, so that you are working more than just your arms. Do twelve push-ups.
Next, stand up and face away from the bench. Place your hands on the seat behind you, and extend your legs out in front of you, but this time your torso should be vertical and your buttocks should hang a few inches away from the edge of the seat. In this position, use your arm strength to lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, then straighten your arms back so that you are in the original position. Do twelve of these reverse push-ups, then you can stand up and continue walking.
The park bench push-up and reverse push-up will work your chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and abs.
The Side Leap
Stand on a flat surface with your feet together, then bend your knees and leap directly to your left, keeping your body facing forward. Land on your left foot, and try not to let your right foot touch the ground. Still balancing on your left foot, bend and leap to the right, landing on your right foot this time and keeping your left foot off the ground. Try to do twelve leaps on each side, and slowly work your way up to twenty as your strength builds.
The side leap will work your inner thighs, quads, calves, and glutes.
The Step Up
Find a step, flat rock, curb, or other flat surface that juts upwards from the ground. Step up with your left leg and lift your right leg directly behind you, keeping it as straight as possible. Step down, then step back up as you lift your right leg directly to the side. Step down, then step back up as your lift your right leg directly in front of you. Step down and repeat this routine (back, side, front) with your left leg. Do your step and kicks for each side twelve times, slowly working yourself up to twenty reps. This exercise will work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.