As cooler weather sets in here in the Northeast, the idea of strolling around your neighborhood becomes more appealing and certainly less sweaty. While you walk, try these three ideas to help your community, mind and body.
How can walking be great for the environment? Plogging is the latest fitness craze from Sweden. It combines jogging (or walking in this case) and the Swedish term, plocka upp, which means pick up (litter and trash). By incorporating plogging, you can keep your streets clean and add intervals into your workout. Start off at a fast pace. When you spot a piece of litter in the distance, slow your pace down until finally stopping to pick it up. Don’t forget gloves!
Focus on Different Muscle Groups
Walking takes us places but to get there, we are often travel forward and at the same incline. One way to elevate your walk is to alternate inclines and directions. Don’t avoid the hills anymore as they can allow you to reach muscle groups you may not otherwise engage. Try a gentle side step and if you’re feeling up to it, try a backwards walk. Changing the way you walk by adding an incline or a different step can help improve balance and strength. Even switching up the terrain from hard concrete to a sandy beach can be so beneficial in working your lesser used muscle groups. Don’t forget to enjoy the views!
Multitask or Don’t
If you’re always looking for more ways to sneak the most into your workouts, try adding weight training to your walks. Start small with one to three pounds, and work up from there. Weight training can be incorporated while walking or during an interval stop. If you don’t have weights available to you, drop down to some pushups or lunges.
While there is value in multitasking and getting the most out of your walk, there is also something to be said for using the time to just breathe. Walking is a perfect low impact exercise on its own and a great time to calm your thoughts or reconnect to the world around us. To read more on the benefits of mindful walking, check out Stepping into Mindfulness.
Related: Walk Towards a Healthier You