How to Increase the Bone Benefits of Walking

Walking is a weight-bearing activity, which makes it good for bone health. However, what if you could increase the bone-building benefits of walking and turn your daily stroll into something more interesting and beneficial for your body? Try the following suggestions to make your walking routine more effective, more challenging and fun!

Tip 1: Walk at a faster pace.

Varying the speed at which you walk will increase your heart rate and work your leg muscles more than when you walk at a leisurely pace.

  • Exercise suggestion: Walk at your normal walking pace for 1 minute, then walk fast for 1 minute. Repeat this cycle for 10-15 rounds.

Tip 2: Find a hilly path or stairs.

Navigating inclines and declines strengthen the muscles in your legs and hips. You will also find that your heart rate will increase as you challenge the large muscle groups in your lower body.

  • Exercise suggestion: Find a staircase or a hill that you feel comfortable on. Walk briskly up the stairs/hill. Walk slowly on the way down. Repeat this 10-15 times.

Tip 3: Walk on uneven surfaces or in diagonal patterns.

By walking on uneven surfaces or walking diagonally you can create increased work for your muscles by adding a multi-directional component to your activity. This can have more of an impact on muscle and bones than walking straight or on flat ground.

  • Exercise suggestion: Go for a 30-60 minute hike, or try walking down a meandering path in the woods or in a park with a friend. For a bonus challenge: carry a weighted backpack to add a little extra resistance and work. But remember: safety first! Only try these progressions if you feel comfortable and safe walking without them.

Tip 4: Add body-weight exercises.

Adding intermittent squats, lunges, or hops to your walk can work muscle strengthening into your walking routine.

  • Exercise suggestion: Walk at your own pace and stop to do 5-10 squats every 1 minute.
To learn more, read the full article below.
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