Here are the benefits of adding fast intervals to your walk
Walking is cooler than ever, thanks in large part to the Hot Girl Walk trend made famous by TikTok. Not only is it cool, but walking is also great for your mental and physical health.
There are even ways to make your walks more beneficial, whether it’s Nordic walking (a type of walking that uses poles, similar to ski poles, to incorporate the upper body) or interval walking which, according to Harvard Healthincreases your heart rate more than normal walking.
An interval walk includes phases of brisk and moderate walking to create a challenging and challenging workout. You can mix and match the length of each pace as you wish, but generally the majority of the walk is at a moderate pace with the faster pace peppered throughout. It’s common to do this workout at a 2 to 1 ratio, which means you walk at a moderate pace for twice the time of a fast pace (so walk at a moderate pace for two minutes and follow it with a faster pace). a minute walk), but it’s really up to you how you divide it.
During moderate-pace walking, you should be at around 30% to 40% of your maximum effort, said Kate Lemere, head instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp Chicago. In other words, your walking should be at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation.
During vigorous, fast intervals, she says, you’ll want to be at around 70 percent of your maximum effort, a rate at which it should be harder to string together a full phrase.
Interval walking is a way to add something different to your usual walk and can make it much more effective.
Here, experts share all the ways interval walking is good for your health.
It shortens the time you need to exercise.
“What does interval training do for you? It reduces the time you have to exercise to get the same benefit,” said Dr Michael Ayerssports cardiologist at UVA Health in Virginia.
For people with busy schedules, it’s a huge benefit to incorporate fast-slow intervals into a walk — or incorporate any kind of high-intensity interval training into exercise, for that matter. When you mix vigorous exercise with moderate exercise, those short bursts of vigorous exercise give you the same benefits of slower walking in less time, Ayers said.
In other words, all of the benefits of moderate-intensity walking can be achieved faster when you add high-intensity, fast intervals.
“Interval training definitely shortens the amount of exercise you need to do per week,” he added.
This creates an endorphin rush.
Ayers noted that, overall, one of the biggest reasons his patients love interval training is how they feel after it.
“There’s a big endorphin kick when you exercise vigorously,” he said. With an interval walk, as long as you hit a vigorous pace for 30-60 seconds at a time, you’ll get an endorphin kick.
You can do a five-minute moderate-paced interval followed by a one-minute brisk interval, or a one-minute moderate walk followed by 30 seconds of brisk walking. As long as you break up your slower intervals with at least 30 seconds of vigorous walking, you’ll be on your way to that endorphin boost.
It builds stamina.
Walking might not be the first thing you think of when considering endurance training, but walking can actually build your aerobic endurance, according to Dr Tamanna Singhclinical cardiologist and co-director of the Sports Cardiology Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
For someone who really pushes themselves during a walk, especially if they’re not used to vigorous bursts of exercise, this increased pace “may be enough to stimulate the aerobic and anaerobic system,” she said. added.
This will help you build aerobic endurance and maintain anaerobic exercise levels in the future, Singh said.
Additionally, interval training can help you achieve endurance goals related to walking longer or faster.
″[The] best way to increase your [walking] the speed is with interval training – increasing the duration of those faster intervals over time will help you be able to do that,” Singh said.
This is a good workout for people who are getting back into exercise.
Interval walking can also be a great progression for those returning to aerobic activity after injury or pregnancy, Lemere said.
If you fall into any of these categories, you shouldn’t jump straight into training. First, make sure you’re able to walk at a brisk pace and recover pain-free the next day, she said. And it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding anything new to a post-injury workout routine.
But if you’re ready to take your walking to the next level, you can boost your exercise output by adding fast-slow intervals.
Interval walks are useful for people coming out of an injury and hoping to get back into running as well.
“Incorporating walking intervals is one of the best ways to not only increase your cardio, but also progress if your goal is to run,” noted Lemere.
It can help you feel less bored during a workout.
Variety equals excitement in most scenarios, including workouts.
A 45-minute or hour-long walk can seem daunting (and can end up being a bit boring), but when you break that walk down into chunks that incorporate a brisk walk followed by a slower walk, you can make the slightly more exciting workout, Singh noted.
You can try walking at a moderate pace for 10 minutes, then do a brisk walk for five minutes and repeat this pattern until you reach your time goal. This, she added, is also a way to stay engaged while working out, which is another huge benefit.
“Engagement is a big part of making sure people can commit” to exercising, Singh said.
It’s not as hard on your body as a traditional run…
When you don’t warm up and cool down properly, “running can be very painful and hard to recover from,” Lemere said.
Our bodies change with age and running may no longer be something you can do. Its good.
Interval walking is a great way to do quick moves outdoors without putting all that strain on your joints.
But the cardiovascular benefits of walking at a brisk pace are largely the same.
Beyond the above benefits, interval walking has not been shown to be more beneficial than brisk walking when it comes to overall health. You may sweat a little more after a brisk walking interval, but the overall health benefits won’t be much different.
Walking of any kind is healthy, Ayers said. Overall, walking increases muscle strength, lowers the risk of diabetes, and also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
“At the end of the day, get moving [and] be very intentional about how you move your body,” Singh said. “It’s the cheapest and easiest way to stay healthy and reduce your cardiovascular risk.”