Fifteen minutes is enough for you to start and complete your physical activities every day. Don’t be surprised if you even burn up to 100 calories during this short time! So how do you make the best of a 15-minute walk?
Why should you take a 15-minute walk?
As the American College of Sports Medicine recommended, one should perform moderate exercise for 150 minutes weekly for fitness. While you can divide your sessions into 10-minute intervals, 15 minutes is enough time to warm you up. During your active days, performing 15-minute walks twice can grant you your desired results.
Walking for 15 minutes is a great, low impact, way to burn excess calories, depending on your weight and the distance you cover. If you want to find your number, the walking calorie chart will help you.
When you take walking breaks throughout the day, you reduce inactivity. Besides, you avoid the hazards of sitting for too long. According to research, sitting for too long is enough risk on its own.
Put on walking shoes
However, you’ll attain the best out of walking with athletic shoes. Even if you’re wearing heels or flat shoes, you’ll still enjoy your walk. However, proper walking shoes are made specifically for walking, and thus, very comfortable.
Take a Warm-up minute
When you begin each workout, warm-up for about 1-3 minutes with a slow-paced walk. It will help, particularly if you had been inactive earlier, to loosen up your muscles faster.
- Use good walking posture. If you’re going to enjoy your walk, you need the right posture. Practice upright walking posture by straightening your back and keeping your neck upright.
- Relax your back and shoulders. Particularly if you are used to sitting on a chair or over a computer, you’d need to relax tired muscles. A shoulder roll will help loosen up faster.
- Raise your eyes always; do not look at your cell phone or the ground while running. If you do so, you will put pressure on your shoulders and neck. Then, you’ll be able to get all the deep breaths you need.
- Try doing some basic leg stretches after, or before your walk. If your schedule doesn’t permit stretching before/after walks, you can create a separate time for it when you get a few minutes.
Brisk and steady walks
Start walking at a brisk pace after you’ve performed your warm-ups. This pace is quite a bit faster than slow, leisurely, walking. However, it is slow enough for one to converse while walking, even though breathing a bit more heavily than usual.
Your goal should be a heart rate that is 50-70% faster than your regular pace. A heart rate zone chart will show you if you fall in this range. Check the values assigned to your age group while you take your pulse 10 minutes after walking. Then, you can see if you’re getting to your goal.
In the last minutes of your walk, slow down to a less intense pace.
You can increase your heart rate by adding a speed interval to your walk. When you’re done with your warm-up, walk briskly for about five minutes. After that, you can increase your pace to a level that you tolerate for another 30 seconds. Slow down your pace for about two minutes, before you repeat your fast pace for 30 seconds. Then, return to your steady pace for five minutes before ending with a smooth pace in a minute.
Adding a steep hill or stairs will help make your walking even more intense. Start with a warm-up walking for about a minute at a leisurely pace. Then, start walking briskly for some minutes before including the stairs (or hill). And if you add more stair flights at once for about 30-60 minutes, your workout will get even more intense.
Plan your routine so that you can add flights of stairs hand-in-hand with brisk paces for three minutes.
If you don’t have access to stairs, you can step up and down from a tall curb for 30 seconds at once.
More than level walking, stairs add the advantages of working the glutes, hips, and many body parts.
Work on your form while walking
You might have issues with raising your heart rate into a moderate intensity. Not only should you aim to walk faster and straighter, experiment with how your arms can affect your walking speed.
Adding equipment to exercise makes it a whole lot easier. Fitness walking poles help you work on your upper body safely. You can also learn the exerstriding technique or the Nordic walking technique for even more intensity.
It can also help to challenge you by walking with ankle weights or hand weights. You can use your hand weights after walking for a short upper-body routine. You can also include resistance bands and dumbbells.