By Team Best Life
Walking is the ideal exercise for so many reasons (nearly everyone can do it and the risk of injury is low, to name just a couple). But admittedly, it can get a little monotonous. If you’re looking for a slight change, head off the beaten path. Off-road walking can up the exercise ante in just the way you need to break up your walking routine. Check out four reasons why off-roading is worth a try:
One of the side benefits of off-road walking, particularly if the path you’re taking is hilly, is the inherent interval training it supports. Interval training—intense bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods—translates to more burned calories and increased endurance. Try increasing your speed periodically to make it even more intense.
Carrying a backpack adds weight—and work.
Walking off-road almost begs for a backpack from which to unload trail mix or water bottles when you reach a particularly scenic spot. Water in particular adds just enough weight to make you work a bit harder.
You can beat boredom.
Finding off-road routes is a great way to bust through your routine of the same sidewalk or track or treadmill. Try for a different one every day, the hillier the better. The new scenery can help keep things interesting!
You can try new toys.
Have you tried walking poles yet? Your posture, balance, and range of motion can all benefit from using them when you’re walking off-road. Resembling ski poles but intended for walking, these poles encourage long strides and help you experiment with more uneven terrain for a greater overall workout. Just make sure the ones you buy are adjustable and reasonably lightweight. Counting and tracking devices (from pedometers up to the fancier gadgets) can also help encourage you to walk more off-road. Try to match your traditional strides in off-road walking or improve your tally with each trek.