Why bother thinking about exercises to do while walking?

Gyms are closed. Swimming pools are closed. Even the beaches are closed for some. Acceptable reasons for going outdoors are limited to necessary trips or for exercise only. Well, not everyone can run, ride a bike or do burpees. And even so, no one wants to always to be running or riding a bike. Forget burpees. I never want to do burpees! For the majority of people, walking is the most accessible form of exercise. And during these Covid-19 times, it’s also the most convenient excuse for getting outdoors. If you’re spending a lot of time walking lately, you’ll want to get the most movement nourishment out of that time. With that in mind, I’m going to share some exercises to do while walking.

Watch this video to learn about some the benefits of walking and how to vary your gate for more movement nourishment for your physical and mental needs. Hint; going for a walk barefoot is also a great way to get more out of your walking efforts.

Better yet, take a walk with me and give it a go! Hint for better viewing of this video, expand and watch on the full screen option.

I don’t know about you, but I need to be able to get outside for sanity and for exercise. When the gyms closed, it wasn’t a big trauma for me because I made the shift away from the gym towards outdoor workouts a few years ago. I just found it harder and harder to drag myself away from Perth’s gorgeous blue sky, sunshine and beaches to go into a dark gym with tv’s blaring and machines whirring. Ugh.

I started training for Aquabike – swim, bike events and triathlons nearly two years ago and 90% of my training sessions are done outside. I love it. But lately, I’ve been nursing a painful knee that is not happy with riding, running or extreme flexion. Plus, with the pools closed and ocean swimming not being an option for me right now, swimming is out as well. To keep limber and clear headed I have been doing the exercises that I can and walking is one of them.

To get the most out of your walking time, try adding a variety of movements to energise your body and to up-regulate your nervous system. The video above talks a lot about that. Some examples of ways to vary your gate are to alternately walk while pointing your toes in and out, walk sideways or in a weaving grapevine step and walk backwards, minding where you are going of course. You can also engage the hips and lower body more by crouching down and playing with a duck walk step, as I show in the video.

Easy ways To up-regulate your nervous system while walking

  • Walk briskly
  • Point your toes in and out
  • Walk sideways
  • Weaving grapevine step
  • Walk backwards
  • Crouch down into a duck walk
  • Walk barefoot in the grass or on the beach!

Exercises to do while walking for strength

You can also add some strengthening movements into your morning or afternoon walk by having a play with these walking exercises.

  • walking lunges forward, backward & sideways
  • squats
  • sliding squats
  • heel raises
  • bounces, hops & skips
  • Butt Kicks
  • and of course, any silly walk you choose

In all of the high jinks, wind and rush to beat the coming rain, we forgot to film the squats and skips. But you get the idea!

Another way to get more exercise out of your walking is to take advantage of friendly surfaces by walking barefoot on them as much as possible. Going barefoot is a very effective way to up-regulate the nervous system, ground to the earth, connect to nature and promote a sense of well being and calm. If going completely barefoot isn’t an option, try wearing minimal shoes that are designed with a thin sole to help your feet feel the texture of the ground to help you stay connected to the earth.

Taking daily walks, is an integral part of my 6 – Week ‘Feed Your Soul’ Challenge and an easy way to earn daily points. Brisk walks can provide a huge cognitive boost for your brain and are an easy way to insulate yourself against stress. Find out more about the ‘Feed Your Soul’ 6 – Week Challenge here.

Did you know that I have another post about walking? You can read it here in Vary Your Walking for Better Health.

Interested in minimal footwear? Check out my post about my favourite Xero minimal sandals.

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Exercises to do while walking, example the Grapevine Step

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