Resistance exercises to add to your walk
Your daily walk is an ideal opportunity to perform some simple exercises to make it a great full body workout. This is a great idea if you’re time poor – which is all of us, really! Try these five exercises 2-3 times a week at one-third and two-thirds of the way through and on completion of your walk (so during a 30-minute walk you’d do the workout at 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes). Each time you do it try for more reps or increased time for the exercise.
1. Toe taps
Works: Cardio & legs
How to do it: With good posture, stand about 20cm away from a step. Staying light on your feet, tap your right toe on the top of the step then, in a quick shuffle, land your right foot on the ground and tap your left toe on the step. For balance and speed, the key is to keep your centre of gravity over the foot that is on the ground and not the step. Repeat continuously for 30 seconds to one minute.
2. Oblique Crossovers
Works: Abs & shoulders
How to do it: Place your hands on a park bench or low wall, arms straight but elbows not locked, your body in a straight line from head to toe, core engaged. Squeeze your abs as you bring your left knee up to the outside of your right elbow. Bring your foot back to the starting position and repeat with the right knee to the outside of the left elbow. Do 10-12 reps each side.
Make it harder: Do the crossovers on the ground on your hands and toes from the plank position.
Works: Legs & glutes
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged. Slowly squat down as though you were lowering yourself into a chair. Keep your weight in your heels and your knees above your toes. Squeeze your glutes, push through your heels and come back up to a standing position. Do 10-15 reps.
Make it harder: If you want to push yourself harder, try jump squats, which involve a small jump at the top of your squat. Make sure you land softly with knees above toes and control your squat.
4. Standing push-ups
Works: Core, chest, shoulders & arms
How to do it: Place your hands on a wall or bench, arms straight but elbows not locked, your body in a straight line from head to toe, core engaged. The closer you are to the bench or wall and the more upright you are, the easier it will be (you can start on something higher and slowly work to lower fences or benches). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards your hands. Push through your hands to return to the starting position. Do 10-12 reps.
How to do it: Use a flat area, hills or stairs where you can break into a fast walk, jog or run to get your legs working and increase your heart rate. You can mix it up depending on what’s around you. The key is to increase the intensity of your workout for 1-2 minutes.