Walking seems like a fairly straightforward form of exercise, but did you know that where you walk can directly influence your workout? Depending on where you walk your pace, distance, and form can vary quite widely. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware of the impact of your walking route can have on you and workout, and then use this knowledge to your advantage.
The Nature Walk:
For our Focus and Destress purposes, I would recommend the nature walk as your best option for achieving your health goal. Also known as “green therapy”, talking a walk in nature can help you reconnect with your organic self. Taking a walk in nature allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery, breath fresh air, and clear your mind. It will help you physically remove yourself from the stresses of our fast-paced, consuming society, and even reduce depression. A mind, body, and soul workout, indeed!
The Urban Walk:
Walking in an urban area is often the only option for many people who do not have easy access to parks or trails, which is perfectly ok! The urban walk is great for those with tight schedules, and want to get some physical activity without having to spend time and effort going to a specific workout location. If you are easily bored, urban walks provide endless combinations of routes, and interesting scenery to boot. You will also be happy to know that walking on pavement (while a bit more jarring on the joints than dirt or grass) also works your muscles more than walking on a treadmill, as you need to engage your glutes and hamstrings to pull your weight forward.
The Mall Walk:
While it may seem a bit counter-intuitive to consider the mall as a place of exercise, it has some really great benefits that many people don’t often think about. Malls are climate-controlled, well-lit, have security staff, and (best of all) they’re free! They also take potentially dangerous traffic, dark trails, and wild animals out of the equation. Many malls also offer mall-walking clubs, so if you are a social-walker, you can meet new workout buddies here. Plus, window-shopping. It’s retail-therapy and exercise all-in-one.
The Treadmill Walk:
If you are intent on keeping exact track of your walking stats, then the treadmill is definitely for you. Along with it’s very handy speedometer, it will keep track of your time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned. The treadmill is also great for those who prefer exercising indoors, but still crave variety, as you can toggle intervals, incline, and speed changes to challenge yourself. By using the pre-determined workout settings, the treadmill will help you choose a walk that maximizes cardio, fat burn, endurance, and many other goals that you may have.