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Want to build lean muscle? Here’s how walking every day can help

Published on:23 December 2020, 13:53pm IST
Walking can work wonders for you, if you want to build lean muscle. Read on to know about the muscle-building benefits of walking.
Geetika Sachdev
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Walk your way to good muscle strength. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There is no bigger joy than stepping outdoors amid nature, and taking a long walk. Not only is it great for your peace of mind, but it also helps you stay fit. What’s more, if you are looking to tone your leg muscles, then this exercise should be your BFF. 

Yes, there are muscle-building benefits of walking too! Surprised? Well, there are two kinds of people: ones who believe walking isn’t far too effective as an exercise and ones who believe it can give them big leg muscles. The latter avoid walking because of this reason, but let’s break it to you: they are wrong. 

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Take a look at people who hike and run marathons, they have such lean and shapely legs—and that’s exactly what our goal is. 

So, are you excited to know about how to build lean muscle by walking? We can hear a huge YES! But before that, it’s time to clear the air about one of the most common misconceptions. 

You won’t get big legs if you walk 

We all swear by the benefits of walking when it comes to staying fit. And yet, many people believe that this exercise can make your leg muscles bigger. But unlike the general perception, larger legs are caused due to stored fat rather than muscle. Haven’t we all noticed that our legs lose fat, when we shed weight? That’s because the body changes when you lose the unwanted flab. There are some people who prefer to see changes in certain spots, but remember that’s not exactly possible. Yes, you can tone certain areas, but it’s not like you just lose weight there!

Benefits of walking
Walking is your thing for weight loss and more. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When you walk, your leg muscles are at work, and they will grow a little. But that’s only temporarily, because the muscles swell to take in nutrients and remove the waste. The swelling vanishes within 30 minutes to an hour!

Here’s how to make your walking workouts more effective

You can certainly build lean muscle, when you walk. Just follow these simple tips, and you’re good to go: 

1. Add intervals to boost your workout

Instead of walking at the same pace, try to add intervals to increase the intensity. For instance, walk at a moderate pace for two minutes, and then make it more intense for 30 seconds. This will increase your heart rate, and help you burn more calories, as well as lead to enhanced muscle strength.

2. Do some bodyweight exercises

You could also introduce strength training into your walking workout. Here’s what the workout looks like: you start by walking at a moderate pace for five minutes, then pause and do a strength training interval for about 20 seconds. You can go all out and include push-ups, lunges, planks or even squats. Not only will it make your workout more fun, but it will also help to build lean muscle.

Benefits of walking
Don’t underestimate the power of push-ups when it comes to strong shoulders.
3. Walk with weights

This might sound funny at first, but trust us, it’s a great idea. You can carry weights while walking, say in the range of one to three kilos. Alternatively you can also invest in weighted cuffs. Start by walking at a regular pace for five minutes, then add some upper-body exercises like bicep curls or vertical presses, while continuing to walk.

4. Mix up the terrain

You can add a variety of terrains to your walking workout. What that means is you can walk on trails, roads, inclined surfaces or even grass. It will work your lower leg muscles and stabilise you through different ground levels.

So ladies, follow these tips to get these muscle-building benefits of walking!

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Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.