We're trained to think that the only way to hit our fitness goals is to head to the gym and work out with weights or spend hours on a cardio machine. But with this 20-minute walking routine, you can burn fat, improve your mood, and lose weight without spending a cent.
You don't need any equipment to get started, although if you want to turn walking into a habit, it's worth picking up the best shoes for walking for comfortable support around your feet, ankles, and legs when you're out on a stroll.
Of course, you can head outside for a wander without a specific routine. Still, this 20-minute session, led by Alo Moves trainer Bianca Melas, is designed to keep your focus on your body and surroundings, ease you into the activity, and improve your mood.
It's a guided session, so you can play it out loud or pop in a set of the best workout earbuds. And as you don't need long, according to Melas, "this is the perfect low-impact exercise to start the morning, break up the day, or close out the evening."
There's a short breathing exercise to get things started, then you're encouraged to focus on your pace, walking rhythm, breath, and Pilates posture. Don't worry if you've not done Pilates before; Melas takes you through everything you need to know.
Watch Alo Moves' 20-minute walking routine
This routine is part of Alo Moves' new Walking Meditation series, which focuses on mindful movement designed to help bring your attention to the present moment and notice how your body feels right now.
Some people learn how to meditate to develop mindfulness, but sitting for a few quiet moments doesn't suit everyone. This is where Melas' guided session comes in, helping you get all the benefits of walking while improving your wellbeing.
The combination of mindfulness training with physical exercise might actually be more beneficial than either practice alone, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Science.
The researchers found that mindfulness lowers background anxiety levels while exercising was ideal for reducing stress and anxiety in the moment, especially when you're in a stressful or challenging situation.
If you've been wondering can walking burn fat, this free, low-impact exercise is a great way to hit your weight loss goals. Conventional wisdom says you need a brisk walk to see results, although some studies have found that you need to walk slower to burn more fat and lose weight sustainably.
You won't always be able to head outside for a stroll, so it's also worth rolling out one of the best yoga mats and doing a core yoga routine. Yoga, also known as moving meditation, helps build the connection between your body and mind, reduces stress, and develops strength.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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