simple walking tips for a more effective workout, benefits of brisk walking
Exercise Healthy Living

10 Simple Walking Tips for a More Effective Workout – Benefits of Brisk Walking

(Last Updated On: August 17, 2019)

You’ve made the decision. Today’s the day. You’re a woman in midlife and you’re going to get serious about walking as exercise. The benefits of brisk walking are just too many to ignore, as we’ll discuss with the walking tips that follow.

Walking is so simple, anyone who has the physical ability to walk can turn a stroll into a workout that burns calories, strengthens muscles and nourishes their overall fitness.

I know these things, because I LOVE To walk and have been doing walking workouts for over 20 years. For me, walking is not only good for my health and fitness, it is also a great way to relieve stress and think creatively. I’ve come up with some awesome ideas while striding down the path!

I also know that the way we approach and engage in our walk can make a big difference in how much benefit we get out of it.

Strolling is nice. I love to stroll down the beach with a cup of coffee and zone out as I watch the waves roll in. The people watching is pretty interesting, too. I love to be on the beach, it’s relaxing, and sure I get in the steps, but it’s not really a workout for me. That’s more like my fun time.

Instead, I know that these 10 simple walking tips for a more effective workout are very helpful for women over 50. If you commit to incorporating these easy suggestions, you’ll be stepping your way to a fitter self!

Make sure you are physically able to engage in any type of workout. Check with your physician before starting a new type of fitness routine.

Benefits of Brisk Walking and
Other Walking Tips

walking tips and exercise benefits

Get your mind right and commit to the workout

the best walking workout tips for women over 50

A walk for fitness is like anything else you do – if your heart isn’t in it, the results will be lacking.

Even if you’re not in the mood for a walk, you know it’s the right thing to do. So spend a few minutes in quiet time, meditate or just sit quietly. Take some deep breaths and put on your walkin’ shoes!

If you keep a calendar, is your workout time recorded on it? This is your time to spend caring for your body and it should be given high priority.

No one is going to get your body in shape, fit and strong, except you. As women over 50 (and the Over 60 Clubbers, like me) we absolutely must be committed to keeping our bodies strong and well tuned.

Don’t forget the warm up!

warm up before a walk!

Be kind to your body and include a simple warm up before beginning your walking workout. You’ll feel better during, and after, your walk.

Not sure what to do for this warm up? No worries. I found the perfect, short walking warm up routine for you, video included if you’re a visual learner, so no excuses. Do these four quick exercises and you’ll be good to go: Walking Warm Up Exercises

I put a sticky note on my forehead to remind myself to do these warm ups because it’s such an essential walking tip. I am the worst at remembering this essential piece of the fitness puzzle.

Midlife comes at us with a vengeance, and a brisk walking workout is a very effective way to tick off the aerobic piece of the workout pie.

Walk before eating a meal

walk before eating a meal

Walk before eating if you can, or have a light snack and wait for the bigger meal until after your workout. If I’m feeling a wee bit hungry before a fitness walk, I’ll have a few Triscuits with peanut butter to hold me over and give me energy while I workout.

If you walk a half hour or so before your meal, it decreases the amount of sugar and fats that accumulate in the blood after eating, particularly when your meal is high in protein or carbs.

That recent physical activity will also stimulate your metabolism to burn energy and calories.

How about walking after a meal? If you’ve consumed a large meal, wait about 45 minutes or so before your walking workout. Your body is trying to digest a large mass of food and if you walk vigorously as well, the blood supply may over extend itself. Your heart is forced to perform at twice its rate.

Walk outside if possible, and vary the route

walk outside if possible

I’m partial to outdoor workouts and am not a fan of the gym, so my comments are not entirely objective. Weather and environment permitting, why stuff yourself indoors on a treadmill when the beautiful outdoors with fresh air is waiting for you?

My first winter back in Michigan after 13 years in Florida was brutal in this regard, so I had to be creative about getting in the daily steps. Now that the weather has turned I look forward to my daily walking workouts. They’re a part of my fitness routine that I love!

It’s helpful to keep motivated when your route is varied, so try to alternate where you go and in which direction. Have you noticed how completely different your walk looks when you go in the opposite direction? Try it and see.

Keep up the pace!

benefits of brisk walking

Your goal is to be walking at a brisk pace. What does this mean, exactly?

Brisk walking is not strolling, and it’s a quicker pace than a moderate walk. You’re not running or jogging, but there is an ‘urgency’ to your step. The benefits of brisk walking are many!

You can gauge if your walk is brisk enough by:

  • the growing warmth and possible sweat you’ll feel
  • heavier breathing
  • feeling your heart rate elevate
  • you can talk if needed but not sing a song (I mean, would you really want to anyway!)

Benefits of Brisk Walking:

  • Improves your circulation
  • Strengthens your muscles
  • May help you lose weight
  • Supports your joints
  • Might even help you sleep better 🙂

Pssst…want to do something about that belly fat? I’ve got a plan…

Stand up straight and keep your eyes looking ahead if possible

walking tips

Don’t put yourself at risk for falling, but make it a goal to look ahead rather than down.

I tend to be a sloucher, so try to remain aware of where my eyes are looking (not at my tootsies), with my shoulders back, tummy pulled in and abs contracted. For me, it helps to reinforce not only the correct posture but I’m working my ab muscles, too. Two-for-one benefit. 🙂

Avoid phone conversations

walking exercise tips

They’ll turn your walking workout into a simple stroll without even realizing it. It’s kind of like talking on the phone, hands free of course, while driving. You think you’re paying attention to the road, but you’re not 100% with it.

Same goes for your walking workouts. If you’re on the phone, you’re not really concentrating on the fitness routine. If you wouldn’t have a phone in your ear while lifting weights, doing yoga, zumba, etc, why would you have that conversation while walking?

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking briskly

the best walking workout tips for women over 50

The last thing you want to do is cut your workout short because the pants are too tight, the shoes are killing your feet, the girls are bouncing too much or you wore the wrong socks.

These are just examples, but I think you know what I mean. Don’t just run out the door without thinking about what you’re wearing, and what is on your feet.

Are you wearing the right bra? How about the top and bottom of the outfit? Are you good to go? And, a good pair of walking shoes is a must!

Use a fitness or step tracker for accuracy of steps and time walked

the best walking workout tips for women over 50

Hint: your walk wasn’t as far as you think.

I wasn’t a good judge of distance when I first started walking. I thought I had walked so far because I was sweating and it seemed like, well, a long time. So I must have done a good job, right?

Not. It wasn’t until I invested in a fitness tracker that I learned how long and at what pace I needed to walk in order to benefit my body.

Incorporate some higher intensity intervals into your walking workout

walking for exercise - women over 50

Make this decision based on your overall health and abilities. Or, go the full gambit and add HIIT, or high intensity interval training to your workout routine. That’s a different conversation, but you can read more if you follow the link in the previous sentence.

I’m referring to actions such as:

  • turning up the speed and the incline at periodic intervals if you’re on a treadmill
  • finding an outdoor walking route that includes some hills
  • adding some step climbing to your workout. My current walking route includes a couple of hilly areas, but nothing too extreme. I add on some stair climbing at the end of my walk using the stairs in my home.

Bonus Tip: Backward Walking

Here’s a bonus walking tip for you, in case you’re open to a simple and unexpected way to make your walking routine more effective: walk backwards. Yep. Backwards.

Walking backwards activates a number of different muscles than walking forward, and has quite a few benefits. Of course, being confident of the path you are on, and what is upcoming, would be really important for your safety!

I’ve tried this indoors, in my home, for a couple of reasons. One, I know the route my little feet would be treading in reverse, and, it’s just me and myself with no onlookers.

I have to admit I’m not ready to share my backwards walk with the neighborhood, not just yet. But I can see how the feet and other muscles are used differently, so that motion strengthens our feet and legs in a new way.

Read more about the benefits of a backward walking routine.

As women over 50 we need to nurture our health with attention to both fitness and nutrition. We’re not living in 20 year old bodies anymore, not even close. But even so, we can look our best, feel great as we age and enjoy life to the fullest, if we’re willing to put in the time and effort.

These 10 simple walking tips for a more effective workout are just one way for us to stay strong and fit as women in midlife. Most of us could think about how to walk more. So…where will you be walking today??

Grab your FREE Printable, 10 Simple Tips for a More Effective Walking Workout, right here, in the Resource Library!

Candi Randolph Midlife Blogger


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10 simple tips for a more effective walking workout

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48 COMMENTS

  • Sarah

    These are excellent tips. Walking is such a great low impact exercise for any age. I love doing my daily walk, usually going out for an hour each day. I try to do mine before meals as well because it makes me appreciate the meal more afterward and I feel like I’m more hungry than if I just eat because it’s meal time.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      That’s a great point, Sarah! Sometimes we eat just because it’s the appointed time, and not because our bodies need the nourishment. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  • Haralee

    Excellent tips!!I had to chuckle about your distance estimates. Yes I always think the distance is farther than it is! Wishful thinking but not effective exercise measurement!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thanks Haralee, I’m glad you appreciated the tips! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • I used to walk 4 miles a day pushing a double stroller, it was great exercise, the kids liked being outdoors (we’d sing and talk as I walked) and I loved looking around at what color people were painting their house or what flowers they were planing.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Karen, yes…so many other benefits to walking that add to our life! I do the same thing as I walk, checking out the latest plantings in my neighbor’s yards!

  • Rena

    Terrific information! I am just starting a walking exercise program. I have RA and just had a broken leg that required surgery. I’m trying to strengthen the leg and get healthier at the same time.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Rena, I wish you well in your journey to gain strength in your leg and become healthier. You have some additional challenges but it can be done at your own pace and in your own time.

  • Lisa

    Thanks for the tips! My summer walking partner and I are gearing up for our summer walking routine, so this will be perfect. For me, it helps to have someone to walk with. It keeps me from flaking out!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I agree that a partner is a great way to keep focused and on track with the goals of your walk. Have fun, Lisa!

  • Marisa F. Stewart

    I used to run, and I loved it. Now it’s walking with Hubby. I always like to get my workout in before eating in the morning. Can’t convince Hubby of that. He wants his FULL breakfast and then walk. *sigh* It’s not the same but since he’s retired we do it together. You have some wonderful tips in the post. I’ll be taking your advice.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I think it’s wonderful that you can walk with your hubby, Marisa! I ran, or jogged, when I was in my 40’s, but it’s been a brisk walk for quite awhile now. Thanks so much for stopping by. I love your site by the way, and subscribed. 🙂

  • Anne Fraser

    I have just enjoyed a five mile walk along the route of a local river. We did stop for a pub lunch

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Anne, I think that a five mile walk with a nice lunch worked into the day is lovely! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  • Nancy Andres

    Thanks Candi for these great tips for a more effective walking workout. Think they’d work me me. Most of them I do already, and I’m going to try that backward walking tomorrow. Visiting you at MLSTL. Happy WALKING!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hey, that’s great! I would love to know what you thought of the whole backward walking experience! Thanks for stopping by, Nancy 🙂

  • Joanne Tracey

    Excellent tips. I’m a committed walker – hubby and I walk before work each morning. We’re fortunate that we have a lovely beach a short drive from our place with a great boardwalk. Even on really bad day job days that morning walk is a tick in the box.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I love that you have a scenic area for your walk, and you have a walking buddy! Thanks for stopping by, Joanne

  • Christina Daggett

    Hi Candi. I love walking and would like to add this form of exercise to my fitness routine. This would be much more fun than my regular routine at the gym. I don’t have any trouble keeping up the quick pace, since I already run, but as you reminded me varying the walk up with hills wouldn’t hurt. Thanks for the great tips.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Christina, it sounds like you already have a healthy fitness routine in place! Thanks so much for stopping by for a read. 🙂

  • Christina Daggett

    Sharing to FB.

  • Candi I definitely agree about the need for a fitness tracker – I thought I walked MUCH further than I actually did and once I got the tracker I ended up taking two walks each day to get at least 8,000 steps in. I also bought good shoes with lots of under heel cushioning so my “dodgy” hip doesn’t complain too much. And walking outside is 10X more enjoyable than on an eliptical machine!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      I know…those doggone fitness trackers are too accurate! I love my walking shoes, the best I’ve ever had. It makes the workout more enjoyable when your feet feel good. Thanks, as always, for your support.

  • Debbie Harris

    I agree with all your tips Candi, I try to walk everyday and love getting outside in the fresh air. It’s also good to get it in early in the day is my tip. Visiting from #mlstl

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Debbie, I loved the early morning walks when I lived in a tropical climate. They were the best! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Lorraine

    Fab tips, I have arthritis and walking is one of the things I need to do to keep my joint strength. We have a little dog now and he encourages me to walk everyday, through the park and along our cheshire canal. I love looking at the step counter afterwards, it does encourage you to walk. I do envy your strolling by the beach with coffee though.
    #MLSTL

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Lorraine, it sounds like fun to have a little friend to walk with. I’m sure he is good company! My beach strolling days are fond memories at the moment, as I recently moved from South Florida to the Midwest. But I can close my eyes and still feel the breeze and smell the gulf waters. 🙂

  • Great tips, Candi! Just met you on Sue’s blog today. I walk a lot but still go to the gym. I have a walking buddy and she graciously walks one of my dogs when we go. We walk for 60 minutes and log at least 7500 steps on the Fitbit. I try not to talk on the phone with two dogs in tow, but walking really gives me good ideas for my blog and I manage to capture some great images along the way.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Terri! I find that walking can open up my creativity, too. It must be the fresh air! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Great tips Candi and best of all walking is free and most people can do it. Apart from the physical benefits, the mental health benefits are also huge. If I’m stressed I usually go for a run or a walk in the park and it soothese my mind and brings clarity. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and promoting healthy and positive aging. xx

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Sue, I love that you run and are such a wonderful example of fitness to women! For me it’s walking to relieve stress, but whatever we do, it is good for our physical and mental health! xo

  • Erica/Erika

    Hi Candi, I met you initially from Sue’s site and now on #MLSTL. I was reading about you, and I immediately smiled. A coffee snob. Something else we have in common. I love all of the information on walking. You remind me I should warm up. Interesting information for walking before a meal. I have subscribed to your site. I am sharing SM. I am glad I met you:) Erica

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Erica, yes, I am definitely a coffee snob! Thank you so much for subscribing, and I’m very happy to meet you, too!

  • Pam

    I am an avid walker over 50 and I follow at lot of your tips. I don’t do backward walking but now I will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Pam, good for you to be willing to try backward walking! I still haven’t worked up the nerve to try it in my neighborhood, maybe soon. 🙂

  • Christie Hawkes

    Thanks for the great tips Candi. The weather is perfect for walking where I live right now–warm enough you don’t need a jacket, but not so warm it’s terribly uncomfortable. I will put your tips into practice for my next walk. #MLSTL

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Christie, thanks for stopping by for a read. I love walking in weather just as you described! 🙂

  • Mother of 3

    These are great tips. I try to head out with my boys hiking a few times a week but when we can’t get a hike in a walk around the neighborhood does quite well as a substitute. Though I have noticed the more we hike and walk the faster our pace naturally is and we have to walk further to get that same workout benefit.

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi, and thanks for stopping by! Yes, I know that as we gain strength, endurance and speed we have to up our game a bit. Hiking sounds like great fun with the boys!

  • Lori Hill

    I love to go walking! Thank you for these great tips and for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

  • Holly Bird

    Great tips and info! As soon as it starts to cool down I am going to start walking again, it always makes me feel so much better. Right now I just go walk around the mall without stopping for a while, but your right about being outside!!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Hi Holly, I know that the weather can be a detriment if it’s too hot. I found that when I lived in Florida during the summer months. But any type of walking is better than none!

  • Dee | Grammy's Grid

    Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 1! Pinned ♥

  • Thanks for the tips, especially the warm up routine! If I can look as good as you once I get a routine going, then I am all in!!

    • Candi Randolph
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much, Catherine, I’m glad you stopped by!

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