How can I make walking more challenging?


Walking can always be more challenging! Here are just a few ways to intensify your walk! If you would like more details, please ask!

  • Add jogging or sprints. Walk for 20-30 feet and jog/sprint for 10. A great way to figure out lengths would be to use phone polls. Walk 2-3 polls and jog/sprint 1.
  • Add strength training every ¼ mile. Exercises such as squat and push-ups are great to keep your heart rate up and build some solid strength as well!
One way to make your walking more challenging is select another more difficult route. If you have mainly been walking a flat route, choose a route with hills. Another easy way is use a heart rate monitor. Let your heart rate determine your intensity. Increase your heart rate, then slow it back down.   For instance say for 1 minute I want my heart rate up to 125 bpm, then slow it down to 100 for 2 minutes, etc. Cardio interval training also burns more calories. If you do not have or do not want to use a monitor, just do the intervals, speed up and slow down. Have fun.
Chris Embry

In order to increase the intensity of your walking routine, you can do simple things like increasing your pace, the overall distance you walk, or find a hill nearby that you can walk up.

Another thing you can do is carry additional weight while you walk.  This can include weights that you hold in your hand or strap to your wrists or ankles.  Other options include a weighted vest that you can adjust the load on.  Alternatively, you could just wear a backpack and put a few heavy books in it.  However, you may find that a vest distributes the load more evenly across your body.  Weighted walking is a great way to increase your intensity and your overall level of physical fitness.

Try alternating your pace in a walking HIIT (high intensity interval training) style workout. Warm up with an easy pace for about 5 minutes then begin pumping your arms and walking at a brisk pace (slightly winded) for 1 minute, then slowing it down for a minute and repeating this cycle several times. As you progress you can elongate the work period and keep the recovery at 1 minute or less. Once this becomes easy try adding in some other training such as walking lunges or high knee marches. If you're walking in a park with available benches, stop at each bench and do 10 incline pushups and 10 step ups per leg before continuing on with your walk. You can also try holding light hand weights or weighted gloves for added upper body resistance, just stay away from ankle weights. A weighted vest is also an excellent way to amp up your strength and cardio during walks, but make sure you work your way up to it


Great question... If you are a beginner: walk for 10-15 minutes and slowly build up to 30 minutes by adding 5 minutes every week. If you are more experienced: a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes 3 to 4 days a week and incorporate a slight incline or hills to challenge your cardiovascular fitness. Walking for a longer time and distance can be a challenge as well-- try walking for 45-60 minutes at your regular pace 2 to 3 days a week. You can always sign up for a 3k-5k walk/run event to be in a more competitive environment. I hope this helps and have fun!

Continue Learning about Walking

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.