If you're after a serious challenge in your workout routine, you've just found it. Combining walking with lunges and squats provides a continuous strength-training regimen that shapes your abs, buttocks, thighs and calves. Although this activity involves walking, it's not considered aerobic exercise because the duration is shorter than 10 minutes. You should still find time for 150 to 300 weekly minutes of cardio activities such as walking briskly, jogging, playing tennis or swimming.
Start with a lunge -- this is sort of like taking a monster step while dipping your body. Stand straight with your hands on your hips, inhale and step forward with your right leg, planting your right foot on the floor heel to toe. Place your weight on your front leg, then lower your body by bending both knees until your left knee is 2 or 3 inches from the floor. Your right knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight throughout the lunge, and keep both feet pointed forward.
Push back up and bring your left foot forward next to your right. Yes it sounds simple, but you need correct form to set yourself up for your squat. Exhale as you straighten your knees to return to a standing position, setting your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintain a straight back as you move and place your arms by your sides.
Perform a squat. Inhale as you bend your hips and knees simultaneously to lower your body until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Keep your feet flat on the floor as you descend, keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight; a small amount of rounding in your back is OK. Return to the starting position by exhaling and pushing into the floor with your heels.
Perform another lunge, this time beginning with the left leg. After this lunge, perform another squat. Now you've completed a single repetition.
Perform 10 repetitions, take a break and perform another set. Do two to three sets total. If that's too much at first, start with a single set until you gain strength.
Challenge yourself by adding weights. Hold a barbell behind your head, a dumbbell in each hand or a kettlebell in front of you. Or if you're feeling extra tenacious, use a balance training ball, which looks like an inflatable hemisphere. Instead of walking forward, however, step on and off of the ball, performing squats on top.
- Perform this exercise slowly to help ensure proper form.
- See your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.