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Going Beyond Basic Movement: Try Interval Walking

interval walking

Look at you – out there taking a little walk after lunch and parking a little farther from the door so you can get a few extra steps every day. If you’ve mastered the “adding a little movement” to your day assignment and are looking for something a little more challenging, we’re here to bring you that extra challenge: Interval walking.

What is Interval Walking?

Interval walking is alternating walking at an easy, steady pace with intense bursts of walking and a fast pace. As you’ve gradually added more steps and movement in general to your day, it’s a fantastic next logical step in your fitness routine. Plus, it’s easy. Try this interval walking routine:

  1. Warm-up walk at a moderate pace for 5 minutes
  2. Walk as fast as you can for 1 minute
  3. Walk at a moderate pace for 2 minutes
  4. Walk as fast as you can for 1 minute
  5. Walk at a moderate pace for 2 minutes
  6. Walk as fast as you can for 7 minutes

After each timed walking burst, allow yourself a short recovery to catch your breath and do it again.

You can keep going longer with the same pattern when you’re ready or create your own fast-moderate-fast-moderate patterns. 

Kick Up the Intensity

After you feel like you’ve mastered basic interval walking and want to kick it up a notch, here are some ideas for raising your intensity:

  • Shorten the “moderate walk” period between fast intervals
  • Lengthen the interval burst itself
  • Add an incline (walk up a hill)
  • Increase speed
  • Turn your walks into runs: Instead of the fast walk, replace it with a jog. Gradually increase the time spent jogging, and decrease the time spent walking.

Benefits of Interval Walking

Interval walking can boost calorie and fat burning potential without adding much strain on your body. It can also improve your overall level of fitness, which means you’re burning more calories and increasing your step count (remember to link your Fitbit to your Level2 app). You also might decide that you want to become a runner, and interval walking is a perfect gateway to a running routine.

Importantly, interval walking also will help you to control glucose levels and improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. But there are less obvious health benefits, too. For example, you can bring a friend or your whole family on a walk and it’s another opportunity to talk, socialize and de-stress.

Before you start a new exercise routine, be sure to talk to your health provider or Level2 care team.