Do you want a bigger fitness boost from your daily steps? Personal trainer Aimee Victoria Long explains how to get more from your #walktowellbeing

  1. Set distance or destination goals. Right now, you may only be able to manage two to three kilometres at a time. Aim each week to try and increase this by 0.5k increments. In your mind, set a target distance you want to achieve, whether that’s five or 10k, and have a timeline of when you want to do this by. Having these goals gives you a focus, and increasing the distance is going to constitute more calories burned.
  2. Pick up the pace. When you’re confident hitting the target distance, see whether you can bring the walking duration down by increasing your walking speed. Upping your speed to a power walk is going to elevate your heart rate, resulting in improved cardiovascular fitness. If you’re then feeling fit enough to increase the distance and increase your walking speed, you’re going to see improved results at a far quicker rate.
  3. This may be more difficult depending on where you live as urban areas tend to be a lot flatter, but if you’re able to find a walk that has varied gradients, it can add another

    dimension to your exercise. A hilly route is going to elevate your heart rate to levels you wouldn’t get on a flat walk and can leave you with a breathless sensation. It will also target your leg muscles more and work your quads, hamstrings and glutes, giving you a little bit of toning at the same time.

  4. Invest in a pair of ankle weights. These will make your legs feel heavier and will give you a greater activation of the gluteal and posterior chain muscles. Plus, in general, if your body feels heavier, it’s going to have to work harder and this will result in a bigger overall calorie burn. You can pick up a set of weights for a small price at many fitness shops, such as Decathlon.

  5. When you‘ve mastered all of the above, try putting them together. Pop your ankle weights on, find a hilly route and set yourself a distance you want to achieve. When you’ve hit that distance, record your time and aim to beat it next time. If you’re recording your walks with a fitness watch, you‘ll see your calorie burn increase by applying all of these tips. When you feel competent and you feel your fitness levels have increased, you may even feel confident enough to try a light jog!