This Is Your Brain and Body on ‘Hot Girl Walks’

The latest motion craze on TikTok doesn’t require exorbitantly priced equipment, but it is is doing need a healthy dose of self-confidence.

This spring, seemingly everyone on the app — or at least the young ones — has been talking about “Hot Girl Walks.”

Conceived by Mia Lind on her daily walk through the neighborhood during the pandemic, taking a Hot Girl Walk is as much about fitness as it is about cultivating a stronger sense of self.

“During the lockdown, I was looking for some kind of exercise that I wasn’t afraid of and realized the meditative element that comes with going for a long walk,” Lind, a communications major student at the University of South Africa, told me. California, to HuffPost. †

“I also felt like walking had a strong stigma because it wasn’t a valid form of exercise, so ‘walking’ rebranded it as a Hot Girl Walk,” she said.

In her viral TikTok video, the 22-year-old outlines the three basics of the Hot Girl Walk. During your walk you should especially think of three things:

  • What are you grateful for
  • What’s your name (of course it’s called a Hot Girl Walk for a reason)
  • Your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them

The idea is to do your daily exercise while thinking about everything you’ve accomplished, everything you’re putting on yourself to accomplish, and, yes, how hot you are.

If negative thoughts pop up during your walk, Lind suggests lining up a playlist of Hot Girl Walk-minded songs and focusing on the lyrics. (Think: Beyonce’s Coachella set or something like Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl.”)

In her TikTok video, Lind does mention that she lost some weight by going on extended walks — for her, each walk is about four miles — but she emphasizes that losing weight isn’t the intended goal of the Hot Girl Walk.

“There are several health benefits I could list from walking, including weight loss, but the mental benefits and self-care aspect is the biggest change or growth I’ve seen from the HGW,” she told HuffPost.

Moving your body in any way, including walking, is a research-backed way to release endorphins, a series of feel-good chemicals that dull pain receptors in the brain, reduce stress and make you feel euphoric. Even a short 30-minute walk is enough to boost the mood of someone with major depressive disorder, according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Although walking is not as intense as running, a 2013 study found that walkers who cover the same amount of miles as runners <a href="http://newsroom.heart.org/news/walking-can-lower-risk-of-heart-related-conditions-as-much-as-running" rol="koppeling" klasse=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="krijg nog steeds vergelijkbare kortingen" data-vars-item-type="tekst" data-vars-unit-name="6282dedae4b0c7c10776f69d" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="http://newsroom.heart.org/news/walking-can-lower-risk-of-heart-related-conditions-as-much-as-running" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="artikel_lichaam" data-vars-subunit-type="onderdeel" data-vars-position-in-subunit="7">still gets similar reductions</a> of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.” width=”720″ height=”603″ src=”https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/6282dfa51e00005ed41b4cd1.png?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale”/></picture></div>
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Although walking isn’t as intense as running, a 2013 study found that walkers who cover the same amount of miles as runners still get similar reductions in high blood pressure, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.

It’s also a great afternoon boost for your creativity. Research from Stanford University has shown that creativity is boosted while walking and shortly afterwards. (Even better if you can take a walk in a nature preserve or quiet tree-lined spot; researchers have also found that walking in nature can improve your mood and help you stop worrying about negative thoughts.)

“Walking has been shown to not only reduce depression symptoms and increase your creativity, but taking time for yourself to practice gratitude is the ultimate form of self-care and self-love,” says Vanessa Liu, an online fitness trainer and nutritionist and a fan of the Hot Girl. walk.

“I love [Lind’s] advice in another video that you can “take that energy and carry it with you all day,” Liu said. “It’s a great reminder to take control of your life and choose to live your best life despite your circumstances.”

Beyond the mental reset, there are clear physical benefits as well. Although walking isn’t as intense as running, a 2013 study found that walkers who cover the same amount of miles as runners still get similar reductions in high blood pressure, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. (Yes, it may take a little longer to cover the same distance as you walk, but walking has less of an impact on the knees, hips, and lower back, which can lead to greater adherence to actual exercise.)

If you’re looking for your Hot Girl Walk, below, fitness experts and mental health practitioners who specialize in body image tell you how to get the most out of your walks.

Watch your attitude.

Walk like the hot person you know by making sure your posture is exactly like this: chest upright, head up, looking ahead into the distance. You may want to bend your elbows slightly as you swing your arms.

“Stand up straight as you walk and grab your shoulders back and down; you optimally tune your mental world, so does your skeleton,” said Bianca Russo, a certified personal trainer and body acceptance advocate.

Improved posture will reduce potential aches and pains during and after the walk, Russo said.

“Remember, it might feel uncomfortable or tiring at first to make even small changes to how you keep yourself afloat, but over time these adjustments are investments for your lifetime,” she explained.

Walk with no time or distance requirement.

Lind walks two miles to her destination and two miles back, but tailor your walk to you and what’s capable of doing for your body on any given day, said Julia Parzyck, a disorder recovery coach and body acceptance influencer.

“If four miles at a certain pace doesn’t feel right for your body, don’t do it,” she said. “Your body knows best and even if it’s five minutes around the block or just standing outside for a breath of fresh air, that’s enough.”

Halfpoint images via Getty Images

Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t maintain positive thoughts all the time.

Ditch the “hot” part, if that feels better to you.

Parzyck goes on several walks each week, and while she agrees that walking is great for your mental health, she doesn’t like the “Hot Girl” aspect of this trend.

“It doesn’t feel inclusive and it’s not accessible to everyone,” she said. “Not everyone has the ability to get out and go for a walk, and if you don’t have that ability, it doesn’t mean you aren’t hot.”

Jess Sprengle, a licensed professional therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders, also feels a little uneasy about the “hot” part of the packaging.

“I like the idea of ​​focused thoughts while engaged in health-promoting activities, but it’s hard to know if this is actually health-promoting activity or just…diet culture-promoting activity with a pinch of toxic positivity thrown in, especially considering that the before and after photo in the TikTok video,” she said.

Lind does emphasize that the goal is not weight loss. That said, Sprengle is right in pointing out that TikTok has a problem with positive body content in general.

Put on music that moves you, not a podcast.

In her TikTok videos, Lind challenges people to walk without earplugs. If you want some background noise, she encourages you to listen to mood-boosting music instead of something more distracting like a podcast. (Megan Tea Stallion) will get you moving more than Michael Barbaro’s soft tones on ‘The Daily’. Sorry about that guy.)

Liu also likes music better.

“People tend to synchronize their movements with music,” she said. “Think about how your toe starts to tap or your head starts to bob when you hear a catchy beat.”

Listening to music can keep you up to the pace of your walk, the trainer said, plus, “a playlist of feel-good music can be inspiring and help you articulate or crystallize your goals and what you’re thankful for and how.” hot you are.”

“By simply choosing a walking route with hills, you increase your intensity and you walk faster and longer,” said <a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/KylaBeland" doel="_blank" rol="koppeling" klasse=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Kyla Beland" data-vars-item-type="tekst" data-vars-unit-name="6282dedae4b0c7c10776f69d" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.youtube.com/c/KylaBeland" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="artikel_lichaam" data-vars-subunit-type="onderdeel" data-vars-position-in-subunit="17">Kyla Land</a>, a health and wellness YouTuber.  ” width=”720″ height=”480″ src=”https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/628bfb071e000047ee1b5539.jpeg?ops=scalefit_720_noupscale”/></picture></div>
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Igor Alecsander via Getty Images

“By simply choosing a walking route with hills, you increase your intensity and you walk faster and longer,” says Kyla Beland, a health and wellness YouTuber.

Integrate mindfulness into your walk.

To get the most out of your walk, add a dose of mindfulness to your routine, said Samantha DeCaro, a psychologist in Pennsylvania.

“There are several techniques that can help you stay present,” she said. “Pay attention to the colours, temperature and smells around you. Shift your attention to the sky on your skin, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, and the physical sensations happening inside you.”

Be mindful of the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of the songs on your playlist.

“If you’re distracted, just observe your breath entering and leaving your lungs to anchor back into the present moment,” she added.

Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t sustain positive thoughts all the time.

If you find yourself having trouble thinking positive thoughts, be compassionate with yourself, DeCaro said. Avoiding what’s floating in your head probably won’t quell those nagging thoughts.

“The paradox of avoidance is that it can often reinforce exactly what we’re trying to avoid,” she said. “If drowning out your thoughts doesn’t work for you, just try to notice your thoughts without judgment and remind yourself that our thoughts are not facts. Notice your breath moving in and out of your lungs or use your five senses.”

And if long walking one day doesn’t work for you, take some slack there too.

“Be sure to tune in to and respect your body’s signals rather than relying on a set of outside rules,” DeCaro said. “There will probably be days when you choose to rest at home or take a much shorter walk, which is what your body and mind really need.”

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