No matter how much research you do to find the most nutritious meals to eat or the best practices for protecting your fertility, your feminine vitality relies on regular body movement. That said, finding the right form of exercise can sometimes feel like a workout on its own. Perhaps you’ve experienced one of the following scenarios: You sign up for a spin class and realize it totally drains your energy. You get a gym membership and feel lost trying to figure out which free weights and machines to use. You spent your youth playing team sports or competing in dance, tumbling, or cheerleading, and now don’t know what to try now that you’re a young adult.
A principle originally coined by the U.S. Navy always comes to mind when I hear a girl say that she doesn’t know where to start with exercise: “Keep it simple, silly!” Oftentimes, the answer is right in front of you. Don’t believe me? Look no further than the must-do TikTok trend that took the world by storm after the 2020 lockdowns and hasn’t lost steam since. The “hot girl walk,” or HGW, is arguably one of the most effective workouts, says certified trainer and Florida-based fit-fluencer Grace Albin. As we enter into warmer weather, here’s how Albin says you can almost effortlessly improve your fitness routine through this tried and true tactic.
Staying Grounded, but Also Drop-Dead Gorgeous
Originally coined by TikTok user Mia (@exactlyliketheothergirls), the hot girl walk is your once-a-day, potentially guaranteed-to-keep-the-doctor-away, four-mile walk. In its simplest form, you’re walking outdoors for four miles listening to your favorite podcast or a carefully curated playlist while reminiscing on things that make you grateful and your overall hotness. Since going viral, the HGW has also now inspired the 12-3-30 workout trend, which emulates the power of this cardio exercise, but indoors on a treadmill.
“The hot girl walk is so accessible, it’s so un-intimidating. I love that,” says Albin. “Also, it’s a great segway into physical activity if people took time off because they had a baby, or they had a big work project, or they never were really active, and don’t want to start out with Barry’s Bootcamp or something super intense.”
Though some may worry about working themselves into exhaustion from long cardio sessions, Albin only sees positive benefits as long as you’re eating enough calories to maintain a healthy weight. Women being “cardio bunnies” are unfortunately made to be the subject of some mean jokes, but as Albin explains, we need to do activities that strengthen our heart muscles and cardiovascular system because our heart is the hardest-working, most important muscle in our body. Not to mention, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.
From a scientific standpoint, Albin says that the HGW works so well because you never plateau. Getting your blood flowing through this type of physical activity helps the neurotransmitters in your brain function more smoothly, she says, and the more you do it, the more benefits you will get.
“The hot girl walk is all about gratitude and positivity. I mean, if you’re walking, you have something to be grateful for because there are people who can’t do that right due to age or injury,” Albin explains. “If you live in a place that has nice enough weather to be walking, if you have enough time to be walking, you can fill up that space thinking of positive things to be grateful for.”
Is there anything better to bring you mental clarity than a good, long walk? We need regular “Zone 1” exercise outdoors to boost our mood and protect our mental health, reduce feelings of anxiety or depression, and even help get our creative juices flowing.
You’ve Got Countless Options Beyond the Hot Girl Walk
As Albin points out, some people don’t live in places that have nice enough weather for outdoor walks. It’s also worth remembering that the hot girl walk might also be difficult for those who feel unsafe walking outdoors, or those who don’t have time to spend on a four-mile long walk. For those individuals, there are two easy options to stay physically fit. First is attending the gym in person.
If you’ve been active on social media lately, you may have seen the recent controversy surrounding a viral TikTok where user @Jessica49 filmed a man whom she thought was staring at her, making her feel unwelcome. Users online debated whether or not Jessica was actually being harassed, but regardless of that particular situation, many women have shared concerns about feeling safe in co-ed gym spaces where men may hit on them or just simply look at their bodies.
Though there are female-only gyms for those truly concerned about their safety, Albin’s advice is to try not to let any gaze – male or female – deter you from getting a good workout. “These girls are complaining that people are looking at them because they look hot,” she says. “But this is your time at the gym. It’s about your health. It’s about your enjoyment. It’s about your athletic performance. Girls, who cares if people are looking or not looking?”
The other foolproof option is at-home workouts. A recent Forbes article praised internet-based fitness tools like Albin’s social media platform for how it “democratizes access to teachers.”
When you scroll through her Instagram feed, you see endless inspo for pilates-inspired and weight training at home workouts that often only require you to use your body weight. In some cases, she’ll use light dumbbells, exercise bands, exercise balls, or even a chair, but otherwise, the barrier to entry for Albin’s workouts is refreshingly low.
Forbes also recently reported that at-home fitness and self-care is on the rise, a trend affirmed not only by the popularity of wellness apps like 28’s cycle-based workout plans, but by the sheer volume of followers that fit-fluencers amass on their respective social media platforms.
What Are Your Fit-Chick Essentials?
It’s no secret that the market is buzzing for women’s athletic attire. Perhaps there’s a deeper, psychological or evolutionary reason behind it, but we see a trend of women donning their cutest Alosoft Courtside Tennis Dresses to go on a hot girl walk, or the recent emergence of the “pilates princess” and “balletcore” aesthetics, and we cling to it. According to Albin, this is actually a good thing.
“Spend the money on your cute workout clothes! You shouldn’t feel like it’s a splurge,” Albin says. “People will spend so much more money on beautiful high heels or a beautiful gown that they’ll wear once to an event, but then wear that same raggedy old pair of faded leggings with the waistband all stretched out. I do think cute workout clothes actually will pay for themselves. They motivate you to exercise because you want to wear your cute outfit.”
Albin doesn’t believe that you need to go overboard on the more expensive, name-brand athleisure, however. In her experience, she has found some of her favorite workout clothes at Target or Amazon, but makes sure that they are soft, comfortable to wear, and won’t wear out right away. Here at Evie, we’ve curated a few great lists to get you started at every price point, from 27 pairs of cute sneakers to 37 fashionable workout sets to keep you motivated,
But what’s the most important investment? Albin says that athletic socks are always the last thing people will spend money on, but that you need good quality socks to not bunch up under the arch of your foot or be worn out when you go to take your hot girl walk.
Don’t Forget the Food
Albin grew up in a family with a healthy obsession for physical fitness and nutrition and has used the knowledge she has gained over many years of experience in the health industry to power her fit-fluencer career. One of the key elements that absolutely cannot be overlooked when you’re starting (or improving on) any sort of fitness journey is to pair your workouts with a healthy diet.
“It’s almost kind of addictive in a positive way that once you’re eating healthy, you realize: I have more energy, I’m more focused, and I’m doing better at work,” she says.
Though she doesn’t personally eat meat, Albin makes sure she prioritizes eating a lot of protein and praises produce like broccoli, kale, and edamame for their fiber and overall nutritiousness. In fact, in a recent interview with Naluda Magazine, Albin admitted that she loves edamame so much she keeps several bags in her freezer at all times. The two other key health elements Albin says we should all improve on are proper hydration and rest.
“Hydration doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer or what climate you live in,” Albin says. “I think a lot of us, when we are starting doing cardio or any kind of physical activity that is new to us, don’t realize how much we ended up being dehydrated. And then you don’t get as good of a sleep because you’re thirsty.”
We owe it to ourselves to clear our minds, feel more positive, and reduce the amount of overall anxiety we experience by sticking to a regular exercise routine. Your own style may vary from a daily HGW, at-home pilates, and barre routines like Albin’s, or dedicated time in the gym to lift. No matter which way you go about it, you deserve that daily release from the grind, so put on your cutest athletic attire and get moving!
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