Effective Walking Workouts: Yes, They Exist! (And You Can Do Them in Your Living Room!)

What's your stance on exercise? You'd die without it? You'd rather die than do it? Somewhere in between? Yeah, me too. Depends on the day (okay, the exact moment) you ask me.

So! We know exercise is absolutely necessary for a healthy body, right? I mean, we know this ... but that doesn't mean we actually do anything about it. We might think about it. Dream about it. Envision how we'll look or feel after doing it. But we don't actually put in the work. Because, well, effort. And plus, we're busy. And tired. And [insert excuse of your choice here].

Another huge barrier is the type of exercise. You know what I mean. You see your friends posting about CrossFit and you die just reading about it. The very idea of Zumba has your feet twisting up before you've even gotten out of your chair. And the notion of running, hitting the lift room at the gym, or contorting into twisty yoga poses reduces you to tears. None of these things are your jam. I get it. It can be tough to find your perfect exercise love-ah. That is, a workout that leaves you feeling energized and accomplished, not like an out-of-shape, uncoordinated wheezebag.

Well, peeps, I think I have the solution for you. It's the most basic of basics and it's something everyone with fully-functioning legs can do: AT-HOME WALKING WORKOUTS!

Now, hold up, yo! Don't you DARE tell me walking is not a great workout. I'll have you know that the workouts I'm about to share helped me shed alllllll of my baby weight after Child 2, PLUS got me down to my lightest weight since high school (and I was tiny in high school). This shit is effective, I promise. And you can switch it up. It's not just a stroll around the neighborhood or nearby park. These videos incorporate upper-body movements, core engagement, and large muscle group targeting without you even knowing it (except you DO know it because Leslie Sansone, the instructor, tells you about it. Which I love because you're like, "Yay! Bonus! I am KILLING THIS!"

I think I discovered these workouts through an infomercial back in the VCR days. That's right, my first Walk Away the Pounds videos were on VHS tapes. No lie. So these (and Leslie) have been around for a while and there are about a zillion videos to choose from (now on DVD, thank you Tech Gods). I've tried lots of different workouts and, as you know, I am a huge yoga fan, but these walking workouts are a mainstay in my exercise repertoire. I always feel amazing when I'm done, and even if I've been a lazy slug and haven't worked out for weeks, I can feel confident that I'll get through these workouts -- because they are absolutely adjustable and customizable. The only requirement is that you keep moving. All the other moves (simple but effective movements like knee lifts, kicks, and arm raises) are just there to power things up. But, bottom line: if you can march in place, YOU CAN DO THESE WORKOUTS.

Starting from a low impact 1-mile workout and going all the way up to a high-energy 5-miler, there is something for everyone here. Start small and work your way up. There are no worries or pressures here. You don't have to leap or lunge or burpee your way into a meltdown to get fit. Just take it easy and build up as you're ready.

Okay, here are a few of my favorites, broken into levels. Mind you, I've been doing these off and on for probably 12 years, so I truly can vouch for them. And these are all available on Amazon and in the big box stores (Target, Walmart, etc.) so it's not some program you have to opt into or anything. You just buy and run.

BEGINNER to INTERMEDIATE

Walk Away the Pounds -- Five Day Fit Walk

The Walk Away the Pounds Five-Day Fit Walk video is awesome because it has 5 workouts on one DVD (including two 1-mile walks, a walk-and-kick workout, a 30-minute walk, and a 2-miler). This is a GREAT starter video since it has a wonderful sampling of intensities.

Buy the Five-Day Fit Walk here


The Walk Away the Pounds Tone Every Zone video has an Upper Body Circuit, a Lower Body Circuit, and a Fast Walk all on one DVD. Split them up or do them all together - your choice! Super fun and effective. Love this one!

Buy the Tone Every Zone DVD here


No lie, I did this one just this morning ... which is how I got the idea for this post. By the time I was done, I was sweating like Mama June in a Walmart without air conditioning, so I can tell you for certain that the workout mojo here is fo realllz.

This one, as you might suspect, can be used as a "30-Day Challenge." There's a Firm portion as well, so you're alternating the cardio walk with some weight lifting to achieve optimal results. Love it!

Buy the Walk It Off in 30 Days DVD here


Really, I could go on for days listing my favorites, but I literally have over a dozen of these and I use them all! I also really love Walk to the HITS - Radio Remixes and Walk to the HITS - Party Songs.

Guys, listen. I know working out can be a chore and I know it seems overwhelming and I know you sometimes feel like you just don't have the stamina to tackle a big workout, but you can do these. They're perfect for beginners, for those (like me) who need a fitness reboot, or for long-term maintenance. Lose your excuses. Give them a try. I promise, you'll have fun and the side effect will be feeling and looking strong and fit.

 

 

 

Over 30? 35? Heck, Even 40? It's Not Too Late to Start Yoga!

No, that's not me in the pic. But I totally look just like that and I can sit on water, too.

No, that's not me in the pic. But I totally look just like that and I can sit on water, too.

Guys, listen. I'm not young. I'm not old either (heh), but I'm not young. So when I think about how badly I want to bend and contort like so many of the gorgeous twenty-something yogis who have never birthed children or woken up with inexplicably stiff joints, I have to give myself a break. Because even wanting to do yoga at the ripe old age of 40 is a good thing.

No, really. It is.

Don't get me wrong, there are some super-bendy ladies out there who are of a "mature" age and who have had kids. And believe me, I applaud the heck right out of them. But many of those Flying Pigeon executioners and handstand stickers are younger women, whose muscle tone hasn't yet been depleted by years behind a desk and six months' worth of sleepless nights. (That's six months per child. At least. Probably more. Amiright?)

So, if you're thinking of doing yoga, but you're worried about looking more like a wire coat hanger than a graceful contortionist, you should just pack up your yoga dreams and go home, right?

Wrong. So, so wrong.

Because yoga isn't about nailing poses. It's about finding your way to your higher self.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
— The Bhagavad Gita

I'd been practicing yoga casually for several years but started taking classes at my gym about two years ago. That's also when I became more interested in the yoga lifestyle. Not long after, I began noticing changes in both my mindset and my body. I started reading Yoga Journal magazine, spending time in a quiet state (not meditation per se ... I'm not quite there yet), and slowly switching over to organic foods and toxin-free products (this yummy-smelling hand soap from Puracy is one of my favorites).

Now, please, y'all. I am by no means saying that I am a total health nut, tree-hugging gypsy. And I think that's a big misconception about yoga in general. You don't have to be or do anything "extreme" to realize the benefits of yoga.

Here's what I'm saying: If you have any inkling at all to begin a yoga practice or pick up where Old You left off, I couldn't encourage you more. Please, please do it. In a future post (I'll link to it when it's up), I will summarize some of the benefits I've gotten from yoga on a personal level and also some of the things I'm still striving for. I'm guessing some of this stuff is exactly what you (and your hectic state of existence) is looking for, too.

For now, your homework is to research yoga classes at your gym or at a local studio. Videos are fine, too, but I personally enjoy being in a class setting because I tend to dial in more. Choice is yours, of course. Just get the process started. Bonus points if you actually make the leap and SIGN UP for a class within the next week or so! *claps pre-emptively*

And by all means, keep stopping back here because I plan to share some of my favorite yoga sites, Instagrammers, lifestyle practices, and more. Let's take the yoga journey together! Peace awaits.

 

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