Located on the Santarella Estate in the Tyringham Valley, this former sculpting studio is surrounded by gardens, a pond, brooks and streams, a walking path and “storybook architecture.” Want to do more exploring? Check out the nearby Appalachian Trail.
Go really old school with this lovely garden house on a renovated medieval farm in upper Normandy.
Hand-built by the host Brittany, this tiny home is nestled away in a lovely rural setting overlooking the Puget Sound, but is still just minutes away from downtown Olympia so you can take in some local culture as well.
This peaceful treehouse has cozy accommodations, stunning views and the aroma of surrounding herb and flower gardens to boot. Described as a “suspended nest,” it’s a wine lover’s paradise surrounded by top-quality wine producers and imbued with enological history.
Built for a Romany by a Romany and taken to the Appleby Horse Fair, this little wagon is the real deal. I’m thinking that sleeping in this beauty would lend itself to some pretty amazing dreams and the sense that you’ve just time-traveled to another dimension.
Calling all wordsmiths: How does hiding away in a writer’s cabin in Stockholm sound? Pretty nice, eh?
This warm, simply beautiful, wooden cabin is just a short walk from town and a perfect way to get off of the tourist path.
Located on Maui’s north shore, this little cabin comes complete with everything you’ll need for an island vacation, including surfboards, boogie boards, beach chairs, ocean views and fruit trees.
In addition to being gorgeous, hip and fun, this tiny apartment is located inside a former city gate, one of the most important monuments in Porta Romana, with origins that trace back to the Roman walls of the city.
Feeling rustic? Don’t mind roughing it a bit? Check out this hand-built, A-frame cabin in the heart of Six Rivers National Forest. Oh yeah, and there’s an outdoor kitchen, organic garden, wood-fired sauna and custom bodywork sessions available.
Why not take in the Big Easy tiny-house style? This little cottage, which has been described as a dollhouse, is close to cultural hotspot Magazine Street and has convenient access to public transportation so you can move about the city with ease.
The reviews do all the talking for this tiny house which features gardens, a meditation room and more: “If you want to refill yourself, this is a perfect place for you!”, “...a true piece of heaven on earth!” and so on. And all for $21 per night.
It’s rustic, it’s modern, it has stairs and a sleeping loft, it was built by its hosts and it was featured on the TV show Tiny House Nation. According to previous guests, it’s a great way to have a rustic little getaway, in the middle of a hip, happening city.
A barn that’s been lightly converted into sleeping quarters, this one is not ideal for the winter months, but it’s beautiful, peaceful and comes with wi-fi.
Who doesn’t want to stay in a Roma-style, handcrafted wagon? It is absolutely adorable, full of made-with-love details, and provides great story material to take back home.
Part of a yoga and meditation homestay facility, this treehouse is a way to really get away from it all. As one guest writes, it offers “falling asleep to the raucous sounds of crickets, tree frogs and waking up to birdsong and the smell of trees.” And it’s only a 10-minute drive from the town center.
Home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, the famous Bluebird Cafe, the Country Music Hall of Fame and lots more, Nashville, known as Music City, USA, simply oozes music. This tiny house bills itself as the city’s tiniest, fully-equipped guest house, with a full kitchen, a full bathroom, running water, heat, air conditioning and wi-fi.
A treehouse, on a volcano, on Hawaii’s Big Island? Now that sounds like a great getaway. Expect: lava tubes, rainforests, a steep climb to your accommodations, a gorgeous treehouse designed by TV’s Treehouse Masters, lots of hiking, exploring, lots of flowers and birds.
A stunning structure made from teak wood, this little boat comes complete with views of the harbor, two cats and breakfast. So if being lulled to sleep by the sway of a boat sounds good, and Hong Kong is in your travel plans, this might be just the thing.
In Granada, Spain, people have been inhabiting caves since ancient times. Now you can see what it feels like to stay in a place where you can feel “the embrace of the Earth.” Yes, they’re fully equipped, yes, they are pedestrian-friendly and close to public transit, and yes, the caves even have wi-fi!
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Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.
How to Rock Your Walk<p>Walking isn't just fun and healthy. It's accessible.</p><p>"Walking is cheap," says Dr. John Paul H. Rue, a sports medicine doctor at <a href="https://mdmercy.com/" target="_blank">Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore</a>. "You can do it anywhere at any time; [it] requires little to no special equipment and has many of the same cardio benefits as running or other more intense workouts."</p><p>Want to up your walking game? Try the tips below.</p>
Use Hand Weights<p>Cardio and strength training can go hand-in-hand when you add weights to your walk.</p><p>A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/03000/Associations_of_Resistance_Exercise_with.14.aspx" target="_blank">2019 study</a> found that weight training is good for your heart, and <a href="https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(17)30167-2/abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows it reduces the risk of developing a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/nutrition-metabolism-disorders" target="_blank">metabolic disorder</a> by 17 percent. People with metabolic disorders have a higher chance of being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.</p><p>Rue suggests not carrying weights for your entire walk.</p><p>"Hand weights can give you an added level of energy burning, but you have to be careful with these because carrying [them] over a long period of time or while walking could actually lead to some overuse injuries," he says.</p>
Make It a Circuit<p>As another option, consider doing a circuit. First, put a pair of dumbbells on your lawn or somewhere in your home. Walk around the block once, then stop and do some bicep curls and tricep lifts before walking around the block again.</p><p>Rue recommends <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-with-weights" target="_blank">avoiding ankle weights</a> during cardio workouts, as they force you to use your quadriceps rather than hamstrings. They can also cause muscle imbalance, according to the <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt" target="_blank">Harvard Health Letter</a>.</p>
Find a Fitness Trail<p>Strength training isn't limited to weights. You can get stronger by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/bodyweight-workout" target="_blank">simply using your body</a>.</p><p>Often found at parks, fitness trails are obstacle courses with equipment for pullups, pushups, rowing, and stretches to build upper and lower body strength.</p><p>Try searching "fitness trails near me" online, checking out your local parks and recreation website, or calling the municipal office to <a href="https://calisthenics-parks.com/" target="_blank">find one</a>.</p>
Recruit a Friend<p>People who workout together stay healthy together.</p><p><a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that older adults who exercised with a group improved or maintained their functional health and enjoyed their lives more.</p><p>Enlist the help of a walking buddy with a regimen you aspire to have. If you don't know anyone in your area, apps like <a href="https://www.strava.com/" target="_blank">Strava</a> have social networking features so you can get support from fellow exercisers.</p>
Try Meditation<p>According to the <a href="https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/nhis/2017" target="_blank">2017 National Health Interview Survey</a>, published by the National Institutes of Health, meditation is on the rise, and for good reason.</p><p>Researchers <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29616846/" target="_blank">found</a> that mind-body relaxation practices can regulate inflammation, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/biological-rhythms" target="_blank">circadian rhythms</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/glucose" target="_blank">glucose</a> metabolism, as well as lower <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension" target="_blank">blood pressure</a>.</p><p>"Any form of exercise can be turned into a meditation of some type, either by the surroundings you are walking in, like a park or trail, or by blocking out the outside world with music on your headphones," Rue says.</p><p>You can also play a podcast or download an app like <a href="https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app" target="_blank">Headspace</a> that has a library of guided meditations to practice while you walk.</p>
Do Fartlek Walks<p>Typically used in running, fartlek intervals alternate periods of increased and decreased speed. These are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workouts, which allow exercisers to accomplish more in less time.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that 10-minute interval training improved <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/metabolic-syndrome" target="_blank">cardiometabolic</a> health, or lowered the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, just as well as working out at a continuous pace for 50 minutes.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111489" target="_blank">Research</a> also shows that HIIT workouts increase muscle <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fast-twitch-muscles" target="_blank">oxidative</a> capacity, or the ability to use oxygen. To do a fartlek walk, try walking at an increased pace for 3 minutes, slow down for 2 minutes, and repeat.</p>
Gradually Increase Pace<p>A faster walking pace is associated with a lower risk of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/copd" target="_blank">chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)</a> and respiratory diseases, according to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30303933/" target="_blank">2019 study</a>.</p><p>Still, it's best not to go from a stroll to an Olympic-worthy power walk in a day. Instead, increase your pace gradually to prevent injury.</p><p>"Start by walking at a brisk pace for about 10 minutes per day, 3 to 5 days per week," Rue says. "Once you've done this for a few weeks, increase your time by 5 to 10 minutes per day until you get to 30 minutes."</p>
Add Stairs<p>You've likely heard that taking the stairs instead of an elevator is a way to add more movement into your daily routine. It's also a way to step up your walking. Stair climbing has been shown to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335519301123?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">decrease the risk of mortality</a> and can easily add a bit more challenge to your walk.</p><p>If you don't have stairs in your home, you can often find them outside a local municipal building, train station, or at a high school stadium.</p>
Is Your Walk a True Cardio Workout?<p>Not all walks are equal. A walk that's too leisurely may not provide enough burn to qualify as cardio. To see if you're getting a good workout, try to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">measure your heart rate</a> using a monitor.</p><p>"A target goal for a good walking workout heart rate is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate," Rue says, adding that maximum heart rate is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/fat-burning-heart-rate" target="_blank">typically calculated</a> by 220 beats per minute minus your age.</p><p>You can also monitor how easily you can carry on a conversation while you walk to gauge your heart rate.</p><p>"If you can walk and carry on a normal conversation, that's probably a lower intensity walk," says Rue. "If you are slightly breathless but can still have a conversation, that's probably a moderate workout. If you are out of breath and can't talk normally, that's a vigorous workout."</p>
Takeaway<p>By shaking up your routine, you can add excitement to your workout and reap even more rewards than a basic walk provides. Increasing the pace and intensity of a workout will make it more effective.</p><p>Simply pick your favorite variation to add some spice to your next walk.</p>
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