Let’s be honest, working out doesn’t come naturally to everyone – some people suffer from gymtimidation, others struggle to find a fitness activity they genuinely enjoy and then there’s those who need something that’s gentle on their joints. That’s where walking comes in; it offers that middle ground, as it’s low-impact and free. You don’t have to do it for hours either, as the NHS says just a 10 minute brisk walk can have significant health benefits.
This year one of my fitness resolutions was to try and do 7,000 steps a day as research reveals it’s the new 10,000. We’re not even a quarter of the way into the year and I can confess that I'm already failing miserably. Mainly because I spend eight hours of my working day sat at a desk, which is sadly the case for a lot of people.
In a desperate bid to change this, I decided to do some research into walking workouts. I came across a YouTube video that claimed to add ‘3,000 steps’ to your daily step count. Better still, I didn’t even need to leave the house and go out for a walk to do it. Fitness tracker at the ready, I decided to give it a go…
The 3,000 step walking workout
Using my Kiprun GPS 500, I made note of how many steps I was on before starting – 445 – pretty poor considering it was 11AM. The workout itself was 20 minutes and it’s basically made up of lots of stepping movements, such as marching forwards, marching backwards, side stepping with a forward punch – you get the picture. You barely need any space for it either (I just did it in my bedroom), so it’s perfect for small living spaces.
I didn’t think it was going to work up much of a sweat (if any), so I decided to do it in my work clothes. Big mistake. Five minutes in and I felt ok; 10 minutes in and I was feeling hot and had to start removing layers ASAP. Despite it being incredibly low-impact, according to the instructor you’re still working at 150 beats per minute for this workout. To put that into a bit more perspective, he explains jogging is around 120-130 beats per minute. So, even though you’re doing something that’s a lot less intense, it will still really elevate your heart rate. This is also helped by moving your arms a lot throughout.
The instructor leading the workout was also super enthusiastic and talks throughout all of it, which I personally find very helpful with these kind of repetitive workouts. He also played really upbeat music. Even I found myself (embarrassingly) starting to click my fingers as we did the forward marches. On the screen I was able to see how many steps we were on throughout the workout too, so I was intrigued as to whether they matched my fitness tracker at the end.
After 20 minutes was up I checked my watch – 3116 steps – so an extra 2671 steps, not bad at all! Of course, going out for a walk and getting some fresh air would ultimately be my first choice, especially as I love the outdoors. But, for those days I can’t, this is a great alternative to keep me moving and stay fit!