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How I Get Twice the Workout On My Daily Walk

There are so many reasons to exercise regularly, including feeling better, both physically and mentally. But I’m only willing to spend between 30 minutes and an hour a day exercising. And there are many areas of my body that need toning.

So one day, as I was walking and contemplating the benefit to my bones, my brain, and the big muscles of the leg, it occurred to me that I could do even more during my walk. I’ve incorporated so many other exercises into the walk that I believe I’m now getting at least double the workout than just walking.

The first area I thought of to incorporate was my inner thighs, which tend to accumulate fat. I thought about clenching the muscles of the inner thighs, but found that I couldn’t do it in each step, couldn’t recover quickly enough from the left side to clench those muscles on the right side in the next step.

But I realized that I could stress one side for a number of steps and then stress the other side for a number of steps. I decided on a four-beat rhythm, which corresponds to an affirmation that I repeat with each stressing rotation. After a rotation, I take an extra step before starting the next one.

The rhythm is something like this:

LEFT right LEFT right LEFT right LEFT right left

RIGHT left RIGHT left RIGHT left RIGHT left right … and so on.

It took a whule to get the rhythm down clenching just the one set of muscles, but eventually it became second nature. Then I started concentrating on additional muscles, incorporating each one for at least one day’s walk before I started on the next. Now, these are the muscles I work on, from bottom to top:


Inner thigh




Back of the upper arm

Back muscles under the upper arm—where my saddlebags are

Just recently, I thought about stretching my neck a bit on the stressed side, and so I’ve added that to the routine. Already, I have more flexibility in my neck.

I saw an ad recently for an exercise machine that recommended working the deep muscles of the belly and abdomen, rather than the surface ones. I started doing that a few weeks ago, and am already noticing a difference. I didn’t buy the exercise machine, by the way, because if I did it would stay under the bed or in a closet until I threw it out or gave it away. I’ve learned not to spend money on things like that.

But I’m not finished yet, I have ankle weights that I can add to the daily routine, to get even more benefit!

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January 18, 2010 at 11:34 PM malac said...

Good ideas - a great way to use available time.

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Please do not give advice. We can best help each other by telling what works for us, not what we think someone else should do.