School athletic facilities aren’t just for kids: Heading to your local track when school’s out of session can help you get in your steps and score a major workout.
Walking on a track provides a visual reminder of how far you’ve gone, which (along with the real-time stats on your Fitbit tracker) can motivate you to keep going. Four complete laps make up one mile! And since many tracks have a slightly padded, rubberized surface, racking up your steps there will be easier on your joints.
Tracks also tend to be well lit, making them a good, car-free option for night-time strolls. An added bonus? You can use the field in the middle and sturdy benches or bleachers nearby for warm-ups, stretching, core exercises, and more.
Are you ready to ramp up your walk? Here’s how to turn your walk into a total-body toning session.
A Total-Body Workout at the Track
Step 2: On your second lap, pick up your pace on the long straight aways of the track, and ease up on the turns to catch your breath. If you’re newer to fitness, you can reverse this, walking more slowly on the longer lengths and faster on the curves. Multiple studies show that upping your intensity for short bursts of time in this way can deliver similar cardio benefits to longer, slower sessions. Mixing up your speed and intensity can also keep your brain engaged, which can motivate you to finish!
Step 3: Stop at the bleachers for two fun bodyweight moves:
Stand in front of a low bench or bleacher, and place your right foot flat on the top. Keeping your abs pulled in toward your spine, use your thighs to press your body up. Tap your left foot on the bench, and step back to start. Alternate legs for 20 total reps.
Sit on a bench or bleacher with your hands holding the the side of the surface, knuckles facing forward. Walk your feet out so that your knees are slightly bent, and slowly lower your body a few inches toward the ground as is comfortable. (Avoid going too low, which could cause undue stress on shoulders and wrists.) Return to start. Perform 10 reps.
Step 4: Walk around the track for a third lap, speeding up and slowing your pace as you did in step 2.
Step 5: Stop at the bleachers again for another round of Step-Ups and Bench Dips.
Step 6: Walk one final lap of the track at a brisk pace. Try to maintain it throughout.
Step 7: Head to the field to do some core work.
Get on your hands and knees, placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Walk your feet back until your legs are straight behind you, about hip-distance apart. Pull your abs in toward your spine and squeeze your glutes for added stability. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat.
Step 8: Give yourself a high five for walking a speedy mile and completing strength moves! Then cool down with some easy stretching, if you’d like.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.