It’s Friday! Hooray!
Actually, when you’re a stay-at-home-mom, most days feel the same…However, today we’re talking about me, you, and fitness on our third Fitness Friday.
First, let me update you on my week.
It’s been a hectic week. My oldest started Summer School (a Kindergarten prep,) I started working harder at preparing meals for dinner for my family (which is super hard when you can’t eat them,) and then I got a crown and cavity filled. Yuck.
I’ve worked out Monday through Thursday, and I’m walking again today. Monday was a Cardio plus weights DVD, Tuesday night was Ballet class, Wednesday was walking, and Thursday was another cardio plus weights DVD.
I’m down another pound, which brings my total to 19 lbs. Woo Hoo!
Since we’ve already talked about Ballet and Workout DVDs, today I’m sharing the other workout I do, which is walking. Even though walking isn’t a high intensity workout, it is really great for you. Heck, anything that gets your body moving is great for you. I’m going to share a few tips for how I get the most out of my walks.
Tip #1 Don’t forget to warm-up
While you probably won’t pull any muscles going for a walk, it’s always good for your body to warm up and stretch before you get moving. I like to jog in place a little and do a few jumping jacks, so my muscles are warm, and then I stretch out. I make sure to stretch my legs (calves, hamstrings, and quads,) stretch out my back, and even stretch my arms. I also do a few slow head circles, being careful when going to the back. It’s important to warm up those arms and back especially if you’re pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon…which I’m often doing.
Tip #2 Stay Hydrated
One thing that’s nice when pushing or pulling my kids, is I have room to take a water bottle with me. I make sure to drink water in the morning to replenish what my body has lost overnight. If I’m walking solo, I don’t bring a bottle with me, but make sure I have one ready for when I get home. There are plenty of bottles you can clip to you, or you can carry one as an extra weight for your walk workout. It’s completely your preference.
Tip #3 Be Conscious
When you’re walking as a workout, you’re not simply strolling down the street. Concentrate on keeping your tummy pulled in, pumping your arms, and moving at a brisk pace. Work on your breathing too. It’s best to breathe in and out through your nose, and don’t hold it! You should still be able to hold a conversation, however, you want to get your heart rate up to get a nice workout.
Tip #4 Have the Right Equipment
Make sure you have a good pair of supportive shoes. Dress for the weather. If you’re walking along, feel free to bring some small hand weights. If that makes you feel self-conscious, they have some that you can strap right to your wrists or ankles for an added workout.
If you’re walking with your kids, I always bring extra drinks and snacks in the stroller. This prevents us from having to go home early and usually keeps them pretty quiet. Also, make sure your stroller or wagon is easy to push. I don’t have a specific jogging stroller, but both my stroller and wagon have really great tires that are smooth on any terrain.
A pedometer or fitness tracker can be helpful too. I don’t have a fancy tracker yet, but I do have my pedometer. It helps me know exactly how far I’ve gone, and how many calories I’ve burned. It’s generally recommended you walk at least 10,000 steps a day, so you can keep it on even when you’re not purposefully walking. This walk workout will really help you reach your goal fast.
Tip #5 Enjoy Yourself
You won’t want to walk as a workout if you aren’t having fun. Notice the beautiful nature around you, switch up your route, or bring music with you (if you’re alone.) If you’re walking with your children, talk to them and point things out. It can be a learning workout too.
I sometimes enjoy walking by myself because it gives me time to think and plan, but it can also be fun to find a friend to walk with you. You can motivate each other, while enjoying a little time together.
If the weather is bad, which it often is in Wisconsin, find a place to walk indoors. I never thought I’d be a “mall” walker, but it actually isn’t so bad to walk around and window shop every once in a while. You can also check and see if there are any indoor tracks in your city. A treadmill is always my last resort.
I hope my walking workout tips have been helpful, and I hope you’ll get out there and get moving!