If you’ve been on social media, you’ve likely heard of the Hot Girl Walk. And while it already boasts many health benefits, I wondered if there was a way to make Hot Girl Walks even better. So, I spoke to fitness experts to find out.
As a lifelong competitive swimmer, I’ve always struggled with the idea of walking as a form of exercise. But when the pandemic hit in 2019, I was stuck home without my hour-long spin classes and total body weighted workouts. I scrolled through social media to get new ideas, and I came across the Hot Girl Walk.
Walking for exercise isn’t exactly news. Studies have found that walking can ease depressive symptoms, combat cognitive decline, and can help with weight loss. In fact, walking is such a great form of exercise that it caught the attention of TikTok’s fitness community when the 12-3-30 treadmill workout was trending all over the app. Users claimed walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes completely transformed their bodies and helped them achieve their fitness goals.
So when the entire internet was screaming at me to go on a Hot Girl Walk, I gave in. There wasn’t much else to do, and I was willing to try anything that would boost my mood through the lockdown. After just one HGW, I was hooked. And now, I have daily Hot Girl Walks. It’s a sacred part of my day that I will not skip over (literally—not even when it’s raining). But after a year of Hot Girl Walks, I couldn’t help but wonder: Was there a way to make my hot girl walks…even hotter? I spoke to fitness experts to find out.
What Is a Hot Girl Walk?
But first, what is a hot girl walk? The term was originally coined by a TikTok user named Mia Lind (@exactlylikeothergirls). She used the term to describe her daily walks, which she spent strolling for several miles while listening to a podcast and improving her mindset.
To be fair, there’s nothing special about a hot girl walk. It’s quite literally just a walk. Anyone can do them. Want to bring your dog? Go for it! Do you use a wheelchair? No problem, you can still head outside and participate! Not a fan of long distances? Any amount will do!
So then what exactly makes it an official Hot Girl Walk? Here’s what the Internet says…
Hot Girl Walk Rules
Wondering how to do a Hot Girl Walk? Originally, the rules were that a Hot Girl Walk involved walking four miles while listening to a podcast and following one simple rule: You’re not allowed to think about anything other than:
- What you’re grateful for
- What you hope to achieve
- How hot you are (tbh, jury is still out on whether we’re talking aesthetics or temperature…)
Of course, the HGW has evolved—it can be as long or as short as you’d like. You don’t have to be listening to a podcast (I, for one, love to blast Taylor Swift during mine). And while I try my hardest to think about what I’m grateful for, what I hope to achieve, and how hot I am, I found myself also wondering: Is there a way to make these Hot Girl Walks even more beneficial than they already are?
8 Ways to Upgrade Your Hot Girl Walk
Turns out, just a few small changes on your Hot Girl Walk routine can definitely turn up the spice. Below, see 8 ways to give your Hot Girl Walk an upgrade.
1. Use Proper Walking Posture
Posture is everything when it comes to walking. “Proper walking posture includes maintaining anatomical neutral with an engaged upper back and core,” says Danielle Gray, NASM-certified personal trainer and founder of Train Like A Gymnast. So what does this look like? “Chin is neutral, shoulders are down and not too far forward and not too far retracted, the core is stabilizing to avoid flexion and extension in all directions, and each step should lead with the knee to keep your legs in alignment. Gently strike with the heel, roll over the foot, and push through your toes behind you as you transfer your weight to the other foot.”
- Stand up tall and straight
- Look up in front of you (not down at your phone, I know, I know)
- Keep your chin up
- Keep shoulders down and relaxed
“Stand tall and straight with a very slight lean forward so you are not leaning back, Lombardi adds. “You never want to learn backward while walking or running—this is going to cause stress to your lower back.”
All my fellow HGWers take note here: Lombardi says good posture is important for injury prevention. “If you have incorrect posture, your body is more prone to injury,” she says. And everyone knows, hot girls have good posture
More specifically, having bad posture can give you injuries in your weak points, she adds. “Where your body is the weakest is where the injury will present itself,” she says. “For instance, if you are looking down, this can curve your back and your spine. Everything in your body is connected, so the pressure you are putting on your back and spine could make an injury in your hip if you have weakness in your hips.”
2. Be Mindful of Your Stride
Here’s the deal: Everyone’s stride length is different. It’s mostly based on your height and how fast you’re walking. Gray says your strides shouldn’t feel rushed or extremely far apart. “The average range of motion tends to be around 41 degrees between each leg in the middle of a step,” she says. “I don’t expect you to get out a protractor and measure each of your steps because each person’s gait cycle is different and the stride depends on your speed.”
How does speed affect your stride? “The faster you walk, the longer your stride will be—and the slower you walk, the shorter your stride will be,” Lombardi says. “The key is to try to just walk at a stride length that feels natural try not to force a longer or shorter stride because forcing an unnatural movement could lead to injury.”
3. Wear Supportive Sneakers
We all need support, and your feet are no exception. While footwear doesn’t seem like it would be extremely important for your Hot Girl Walk, it absolutely is. Picking the correct shoe is important for injury prevention and comfort. “Each person is going to have a different shape foot—such as wide, normal or narrow—high arch or low arch,” Lombardi says.
If you pronate (your weight tends to be more on the inside of your foot when you walk) or supinate (your weight tends to be more on the outside of your foot when you walk), you’ll also want to look for sneakers that help address that.
Without the right support, you could subject yourself to foot injuries or even knee and hip injuries. That’s why it’s encouraged to go to a store to get your feet, your walking technique, and your running technique assessed. While my navy blue Brooks aren’t as *aesthetic* as my Nike Air Force One sneaks, they’re extra comfy and offer my stress fracture-prone feet lots of protection. Worth the sacrifice, IMO.
Lombardi also recommends pairing your supportive sneakers with comfortable workout clothes that you feel great in. (Read: Rock those exercise dresses.)
4. Don’t Overdo It
If you, like me, also struggle with the idea of simply walking for 30 minutes, this tip is for you. When I first started the trend, I thought I needed to walk for hours to be healthy. But that’s not the case at all. “The American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control recommend 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise five times a week,” Lombardi says. “I would have that be your goal. If you are a beginner, I would work up to this over a couple of weeks to prevent injury and burnout.” I personally walk for an hour every day, and I feel healthier than I ever have before.
However, Gray notes that the ideal amount of time someone should be walking depends on their fitness goals. “If you’re trying to hit a certain number of steps in a day, then the answer would be whatever amount of time it takes for you to meet that goal,” she says. “If you’re going for weight loss, you will need to walk either far enough, or intensely enough to keep your heart rate between 60 to 80 percent of your recommended max heart rate.” TLDR: Chill out and just enjoy your Hot Girl Walk.
5. Switch Up Your Speed
Not totally comfortable with the idea of *just* walking? (I was too–but I promise it’s worth a try.) Ease yourself into your HGWs by incorporating intervals of walking and running. Not only will the spike in your heart rate release endorphins and help improve your endurance, Lombardi says the variety will make the time go by faster. Not into running? You’re not alone. Try interspersing intervals of walking lunges, skipping, or long jumps.
6. Keep Things Fresh
The best kind of exercise is one that you enjoy, so make sure you’re keeping your Hot Girl Walks fresh and exciting. Lombardi recommends playing music or a podcast to pass the time. Or, invite a friend and bask in each other’s hotness. Another tip? Change up the location you walk in to keep yourself engaged and excited to continue your HGWs.
7. Apply Sunscreen Beforehand
You’ve heard it a million times (especially if you’re on TikTok): Wear sunscreen every day—but especially if you’re going on a Hot Girl Walk. Whether you’re walking outside or in the gym, you’re exposing your skin to damaging UV rays, which can increase your risk of skin cancer and cause the skin to age. Want to keep your glazed doughnut skin? Slather on that SPF before your next HGW. (And incorporate a skin-loving supplement like HUM Nutrition’s Turn Back Time, which works to shield the skin from after-sun effects and help support the skin from free radical damage.)
8. Hydrate Before and After
After scrolling through social media, my main takeaways from the Hot Girl Walk are this: You need a cute outfit, a killer playlist (or podcast), great headphones, a small fanny pack (worn across your body, of course), and a giant water bottle. Hydration is an essential part of a Hot Girl Walk routine—especially if you’re walking for long periods of time. Hydration is what keeps your body going, so make sure you drink water before and after your HGW so you can carry the good vibes through the rest of your day. (Need a little boost? Try adding HUM’s Collagen Pop to your water bottle to help support your skin’s level of hydration from the inside out.)