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If you are one of the many people who walk as daily exercise, this is for you! Walking is, in fact, great exercise and not something to be sniffed at. Walking on a daily (or near daily) basis takes commitment, but what if you are ready for something more than walking?

You may also have heard that strength training is great for you, too. The good news is that strength training and walking can work together and are not mutually exclusive. You can add in strength exercises while you walk! You can start small and not bring any equipment with you; just perform bodyweight-only moves to get started.

walking feet

First, what I am proposing will take a little bit of confidence. You may have to step out of your comfort zone but the confidence you will gain from getting stronger will get you over the initial discomfort you may feel. I promise you, no one is going to look at you as if you are strange. I believe that anyone who sees you will be impressed – and possibly inspired – by you!

If you already routinely walk, you probably determine a time limit or mileage goal, right? You can do this either way. For example, if you know that you usually walk for 45 minutes, your goal could be to do a strength training circuit every 15 minutes. If you walk for 2 miles, do the circuit every half mile.

Here is an example of one of my walk + strength circuit routines.

  • 0-15 minutes: walk briskly
  • 15-20 minutes: lower body strength circuit

This circuit includes:

20 alternating reverse lunges

reverse-lunge

10 walking lunges

Walking-lunge-knee-lift

10 standard squats

squat

10 standing rear leg lifts, per leg

(If I encounter a bench, I do 10 step ups with each leg; 10 incline push ups and 10 triceps dips.)

Repeat this sequence two more times.


If you’re feeling especially adventurous, bring a resistance band with you to do upper body work. You can just drape it around your neck since it weighs next to nothing.

An example of my resistance band strength circuit is:

  • 0-15 minutes: walk briskly
  • 15-20 minutes: upper body strength circuit

10 bicep curls

resistance band curl

10 bent over rows

Bent-Over-Rows-Resistance-Band_ALL

10 triceps kickbacks

Tricep-Kickback

10 overhead presses

Squat-Overhead-Press-Resistance-Band_ALL

If I plan on doing both lower and upper body exercises, I shorten my walking intervals to accommodate the longer circuits or you can break it up even more by trying the following sequence. (You’d be surprised by how fast the time flies by!)

  • 0-5 minutes: walk briskly
  • 5-10 minutes: lower body circuit
  • 10-15 minutes: walk briskly
  • 15-20 minutes: upper body circuit
  • 20-25 minutes: walk briskly
  • 25-30 minutes: lower body circuit
  • 30-35 minutes: walk briskly
  • 35-40 minutes: upper body circuit
  • 40-45 minutes: walk briskly
  • 45-50 minutes: lower body circuit
  • 50-55 minutes: walk briskly
  • 55-60 minutes: upper body circuit

So, go out there and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and get stronger in the process!