A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (2023)

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leaving a monthFocus on the upper bodyonly now are we moving to a simple full body strength routine that you can add to any cardio routine you already have. Ready to move on? Good! We continue with daily walks, but on strength training days, walking is optional.

Many people assume that the main reason for incorporating strength training into their routine is to tone their body. While strength training builds muscle mass, which can result in tighter, more toned muscles, it's far from the only benefit.

Strength training exercises improve bone density andincrease flexibilityin the joints. Strengthening muscles also helps improve balance,speed up metabolismand burn calories. Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, so as you get older it becomes even more important to include strength training exercises in your program.weight trainingIt has also been widely associated with injury prevention.

A 31-day strength training plan for beginners

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (1)

Download a printable calendar here.

The strength training plan includes 5 dumbbell upper body exercises, 5 bodyweight lower body exercises, and 5 core strength training movements.

Each exercise is performed 10 times and then repeated for a total of three rounds. For example, on upper body days, you do each exercise 10 times, and after you finish one round, you do two more rounds.

If you don't have dumbbells for upper body exercises, you can use bottled water or cans of soup. I recommend starting with 3-pound dumbbells unless you have used weights before and are comfortable with 5-pound weights. For the upper body and core, start with 10 reps. To make things more challenging after a few weeks, then increase to 15 reps.

For the lower body, I have provided modifications for each exercise. If any of the moves bother your knees, stick with the mods!

In addition to strength training, we will also continue our 20-minute walks to promote cardiovascular fitness and mobility. (Don't forget that you can run on strength days too!)

5 minutes of upper body strength training

July 28, 202203:21

Strength program for the upper body

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bicep thread

Grab your dumbbells and start with your arms hanging at your sides. Hug your elbows at your sides and raise the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Slowly lower them. Continue to squeeze your elbows into your sides, making sure not to let your arms dangle. If your arms are bouncing, you may be using weights that are too heavy.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (4)

shoulder press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells into a pole position at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells against the ceiling so they are slightly in front of your head (enough that you can see the dumbbells with your eyes without looking up with your neck). Relax your neck and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Bring the weights back to the beam position.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (5)

Trizeps-Kickbacks

Hold a weight in each hand and lean forward at the hips with your back straight. Hug your elbows at your sides and kick the weight to the back of the room by moving your arm just below your elbow. Feel the back of your arm contract as you push your arm back, then release it back to the starting position.

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hug a tree

Hold the dumbbells sideways at shoulder height, parallel to the floor. Relax your shoulders and pull your arms forward as if hugging a tree. Keep your elbows level with your arms, don't let them drop, and make sure your shoulders start to rise. When this happens it means the weight is too heavy or you are too tired so you can do fewer reps or lower the weight.

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serve a plate

Start with your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle so the dumbbells are facing you. Extend your arms in front of you as if you are serving a plate and pull them towards you. Always keep your palms up.

5 minute lower body strength workout

July 28, 202205:49

Strength training for the lower limbs

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (8)

side lunge

Standing hip-width apart, step your right foot a few feet to the right while bending your right knee. Keeping your left leg straight, sink into your right gluteus. Press into your right heel to come to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.

Modification: Standing side leg raises

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Standing hip-width apart, step your right foot to the right so your toe is on the floor and your weight is on your left foot. Point your foot and activate the Quad. Raise your leg to hip level and lower it down. Repeat 10 times and then switch to the left leg.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (9)

stationary lunge

Stand with your feet as wide as your hips and your hands on your hips. Step back a few meters with your left foot. This is your starting position. Bend the right knee so that it is over the right ankle and bend the left knee so that the knee touches the floor. Look in the mirror and make sure your spine is straight up and down and you are not leaning forward. Push into the front heel to come to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

Modification: Standing Leg Raises

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Point your right foot in front of you and contract your quadriceps. Raise your leg almost to waist height, then lower it down. Repeat 10 times and then switch to the left leg.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (10)

squatting

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then push your buttocks back while bending your knees, as if you're leaning back in a chair. Push through your heels to come up.

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Modification: modified squat

Hold a counter, chair, or table with one hand for balance and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Feel your buttocks back, and then bend your knees to lower yourself into a half squat. Keep your knees on tiptoe and tighten your abs. Push through your heels to return to a standing position.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (12)

Wadenheben (all Levels)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Stand on tiptoe to lift your heels off the floor. Then lower your heels back down. Repeat 10 times.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (13)

Awe lunge

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, place your right foot behind your left and to the left of your left foot. Bend both knees as you lower yourself into a lunge in this arch position. Then press into your left heel to bring your right leg back to center.

Modified: Standing hip-width apart, balance on left foot while bringing right knee in front of you toward waist. Put your foot down.

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A 7-minute core workout to reduce back pain

July 28, 202207:13

basic routine

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Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor a few inches in front of your butt. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows wide open. Draw in your navel and gently press your lower back into the floor. Snuggle your head, neck and chest and pretend you have an egg between your chin and chest and don't want to crack it! From here, curl up as high as you can and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Exhale on the ascent and inhale on the descent.

A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (16)

glute bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Keep your heels on the floor, lift your hips up, and squeeze your glutes. Draw your navel towards your spine and slowly lower one vertebra at a time.

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Bike push-ups

From the contracted position, raise your knees to a tabletop position. Wrap yourself with your head, neck and chest. Then, bring your left knee in while straightening your right leg diagonally. Bend your right elbow toward your left knee, then switch to bend your left elbow toward your right knee as you switch legs.

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A 31-day full-body strength workout to complement your walking routine (18)

double leg raise

First, lie on your back with your arms stretched out to your sides and your legs straight. Raise your legs together, hug your inner thighs, and point your feet toward the ceiling. This is the starting position. Slowly lower your legs a few feet (or as far as you can without your back touching the floor). Draw your navel towards your spine to prevent your back from arching. Use your abs to bring your legs back to the starting position.

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V-sit

Start in a seated position; Tighten your core muscles and gently lean back a few inches. Gradually raise your legs in the air so they are in a tabletop position. Extend your arms forward so they are parallel to the floor. Keeping your core engaged, extend your legs at a 45-degree angle in a "V" position. If it's too difficult, grab the backs of your legs for support. Hold this "V" position with your shoulders relaxed, abs tight, and inner thighs tight for 10 seconds. You can straighten your arms for an advanced version of this exercise.

FAQs

How do you combine strength training and walking? ›

“Walk with two- or three-pound weights,” Widmann says. “Walk for five minutes, and then perform one-minute intervals of upper-body exercises like bicep curls, deltoid presses, vertical presses, tricep kickbacks, etc., while continuing to walk.”

Can I walk and strength train on the same day? ›

Traditional workout guidance suggests people alternate their workouts—cardio one day, followed by weight training the next, or vice versa. But “there's no reason you can't do both in the same workout session, or split into two sessions on the same day,” Dr. Ghuman says.

Can walking be a full body workout? ›

Walking is a whole body exercise that affects our heart, abs, legs, arms and back.

What is the 30 day walking challenge? ›

It's simple – Your challenge is simply to walk for 30 minutes – Preferably outside – every day for 30 days. This walking challenge is to boost your fitness levels and generally improve your health.

What exercises can you add to walking? ›

Challenge yourself even more by adding in some extra exercises to your walk! After every 10 minutes of walking, drop down and do 10 push-ups, 25 jumping jacks, 15 squats, or whatever other exercises you can think of. Alternate different moves every 10 minutes to keep things interesting.

How many miles is 10,000 steps? ›

How many steps in a mile? An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles.

Is it better to do strength training in the morning or evening? ›

Your physical performance might improve: Research shows that most people function better, physically speaking, later in the day. Muscle strength, flexibility, power output and endurance are all better in the evening than they are in the morning.

Is it better to do strength training in the morning or afternoon? ›

Even when people are consistent with their training times, strength increases are generally slightly higher and muscle gains up to 84% higher have been found when training in the evening instead of the morning.

Is walking just as good as weight lifting? ›

Certain types of workouts build muscle and increase your metabolism. “If the goal is weight loss, HIIT, circuit training or heavy resistance training will be much more effective long-term than a 30-minute walk,” says Bergeron. There are two main reasons for this.

What is a good distance to walk everyday? ›

Walking is a form of low impact, moderate intensity exercise that has a range of health benefits and few risks. As a result, the CDC recommend that most adults aim for 10,000 steps per day . For most people, this is the equivalent of about 8 kilometers, or 5 miles.

Is 1 hour of walking a day enough? ›

An hour a day is also a widely recommended goal for more advanced walkers. Health organizations usually recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of walking per day, but note that increasing your walking to 60 minutes daily gives even more health benefits.

Is walking 30 minutes a day enough exercise? ›

Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.

What happens if you walk everyday for a month? ›

7 Things That Happened When I Made Myself Go For A Walk Every Single Day For A Month. For a such simple, approachable activity, walking certainly does deliver some remarkable health benefits. Studies show that a daily brisk walk can help lower blood pressure, reduce belly fat, increase energy levels, and improve mood.

What is the best walking plan? ›

Aim to walk at least five days a week. Start out warming up with a five-minute, slower paced walk. Slow your pace to cool down during the last five minutes of your walk. Start at a pace that's comfortable for you.

What is the best walking program? ›

Beginner - Try walking briskly at a 3 to 3.5-mph pace (walking a mile in 17-20 minutes), beginning with 10 minutes per day for the first three weeks. Slowly increase the time you walk by 5 minutes per week until you are able to walk 30 minutes per day, six days per week.

How many steps equal 1 mile? ›

You can also estimate steps by knowing that 2,000 steps equals one mile. Measure your progress by the number of steps you are covering each day. Generally speaking you can count on 2,000 steps equaling one mile.

What happens to your body when you walk 10 000 steps a day? ›

A study in JAMA Neurology found that walking about 10,000 steps a day was linked to less cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke and heart failure), 13 types of cancer, and dementia. Taking 10,000 steps is about the same as walking four or five miles, depending on your stride.

How many steps is 2 miles? ›

5,000 steps make about 2 miles.

The exact number depends on the individual's height and stride length. For a woman with an average stride length (2.2 ft), 5,000 steps are 2.0816 mi, and for a man with an average step (2.5 ft), it's 2.3674 mi.

Is it better to eat before or after a workout? ›

While the importance of eating before a workout may vary based on the situation, most scientists agree that it's beneficial to eat after exercise. Research shows that some nutrients, particularly protein and carbs, can help your body recover and adapt after exercise.

Should you workout right after waking up? ›

In general, for healthy individuals looking to lose weight or get fitter – morning workouts are perfectly fine. In most cases, they are even a great choice (see next section).

What is the first thing to be done before exercising? ›

Warming up before exercise is a good way to reduce the risk of injury and to prepare yourself physically as well as mentally for activity. Concentrate on warming up the specific muscle groups you will be using in your exercise and include dynamic flexibility exercises.

How should I eat when I workout in the morning? ›

So if you wake up early and are working out less than an hour later, go for a small snack consisting mostly of fast-acting carbohydrates beforehand and avoid food that is predominantly protein, fat, and fiber. Your body will use the sugar in fast-acting carbohydrates immediately to fuel your workout.”

Why shouldn't you workout before bed? ›

However, experts caution that vigorous exercise within one hour of bedtime does not allow time for core body temperature to cool. This may delay sleep, affect sleep quality, and lead to more nighttime awakenings.

What time is best to exercise to lose weight? ›

Researchers say women burn more fat exercising during morning hours, while men burn more fat at night. Women aiming to improve blood pressure also get better results by exercising in the morning, the study says.

Is it better to walk faster or longer? ›

In a new study, which looks at activity tracker data from 78,500 people, walking at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes a day led to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia and death, compared with walking a similar number of steps but at a slower pace.

How long does it take to see results from walking? ›

After 3-4 days of walking: you will notice the “better fit” or more room in your clothes! After 7 days of walking: real changes are happening! You have used body fat as energy (fat burning!) Muscles feel more toned!

What happens to your body when you walk everyday? ›

For example, regular brisk walking can help you: Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat. Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Improve cardiovascular fitness.

Is walking 2 miles every day enough? ›

Step count aside, most health and fitness experts would agree that walking 2 miles a day is enough for overall health and to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers.

How long to walk a mile by age? ›

The 1-Mile Walking Test
Age20-2970+
Good13:12-14:0618:18-20:00
Average14:07-15:0620:01-21:48
Fair15:07-16:3021:49-24:06
Poor>16:30>24:06
1 more row
May 18, 2010

What is a good distance to walk everyday to lose weight? ›

Popular fitness trackers and pedometers encourage people to take 10,000 steps per day, and one 2016 study agrees that 10,000 steps are ideal. This works out to roughly 5 miles of walking. People interested in walking for weight loss should consistently hit at least 10,000 steps each day.

Does walking reduce belly fat? ›

Simply walking more often can help you lose weight and belly fat, as well as provide other excellent health benefits, including a decreased risk of disease and improved mood. In fact, walking just one mile burns about 100 calories.

Does walking burn belly fat? ›

Walking might not be the most strenuous form of exercise, but it is an effective way to get in shape and burn fat. While you can't spot-reduce fat, walking can help reduce overall fat (including belly fat), which, despite being one of the most dangerous types of fat, is also one of the easiest to lose.

Do you need a rest day from walking? ›

Typically, rest days aren't necessary for light cardio. This includes activities like leisurely walking or slow dancing. It's safe enough to do every day, unless your doctor says otherwise. But if you're doing moderate or vigorous aerobic activity, rest days are essential.

Is it better to walk 30 minutes or 60 minutes? ›

According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, 30 minutes of daily exercise is just as effective for losing weight as 60 minutes.

How many miles can you walk in 30 minutes? ›

Depending on how fast you walk, walking 30 minutes a day is roughly equivalent to walking 1.5-2 miles (2.5-3.5 kilometers).

Is walking 90 minutes a day enough exercise? ›

As you lose weight, your weight loss from walking may slow. In terms of how the type of walking you need to do to lose weight, a brisk pace is recommended. Walking for 30-90 minutes several days each week will help you to lose weight.

Should I walk before or after strength training? ›

If your top priority when you walk inside a gym is to lose weight and burn fat, you're better off starting off with the weightlifting portion of your workout, then moving over to a low-intensity cardiovascular exercise. The reasoning for this is simple.

Does walking interfere with strength training? ›

Mix Up Your Routine

In other words, resistance training makes cardiovascular training more effective in producing results, and vice versa. Simply put, walking will improve your heart health and burn calories, while going to the gym — assuming you use weights — will increase your metabolism and target fat tissue.

Can I lose weight with walking and strength training? ›

People who walked on a treadmill for roughly 110 minutes each week and did muscle-strengthening exercises with weights twice a week for about 15 minutes each were able to lose about 3.7 pounds and lower their A1C numbers (which measures someone's average blood sugar levels over the previous 3-month period) by 0.3 to ...

Is 20 minutes of strength training enough? ›

You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute strength training sessions a week. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines: Aerobic activity.

Should I walk before or after breakfast? ›

Exercise is certainly an important one. Exercising after a meal may help prevent glucose levels from going too high after ingesting food. On the other hand, exercising before a meal increases the amount of fat you break down in your body and may alter how your metabolism responds to food consumption later in the day.

Should you do mobility before or after strength? ›

Dynamic mobility exercises should be done preferably before training. So your body is properly warmed-up and prepared for the upcoming training.

How do you build strength and endurance at the same time? ›

To build strength and endurance you have to mostly train at each end of the spectrum, consistently strength training while also consistently doing sustained-effort endurance training. Training in the middle ground often stresses your body out too much so that you can't effectively recover.

What should I work on first endurance mobility or strength? ›

Strength training should be done first if both training modes are performed in a same session. Perform endurance training in the morning and strength in the evening, if you train twice a day. Separate training modes with over 8 hours of recovery.

How much walking is 10,000 steps a day? ›

Taking 10,000 steps is equal to walking approximately 5 miles.

What will walking an hour a day do? ›

Know the benefits

For example, regular brisk walking can help you: Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat. Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Improve cardiovascular fitness.

What is the best time to walk to lose weight? ›

The ideal time would be in the morning, before having your breakfast. At this time your body is already in a calorie deficit mode, and walking can ignite the body's ability to burn fat.

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