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Recently, I had the unfortunate realization that I wasn’t getting enough steps in during my day. While I go to the gym often, I wasn’t getting enough regular movement, to the point that I took off my fitness trackers out of shame. I missed living in walkable places, where I naturally moved a ton during my day without thinking.
My TikTok for-you page seemed to know this, because it suddenly started spitting out videos of girls with standing desks, activewear sets, and regular 10k days finished before 10 A.M. The concept was simple enough: an oscillating treadmill belt that you could go complete autopilot on while you checked your emails. I’ll often use an indoor bike in a similar fashion, but I could make *walking* significantly more consistent. So I caved to the power of the trend.
The “Hot Girl Treadmill Workout”
For the past year or so, our feeds have been interrupted by something called a “hot girl walk.” It originated during quarantine, when many of us rediscovered the pleasure of a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood when it was really all we could do to break up the monotony. Walks have psychological benefits, clearing brain fog and helping jog our memory. Add in the perfect playlist (or podcast) for the ultimate confidence boost.
Thanks to record-setting heat waves, that outdoor walk is no longer doable; instead, the TikTok girlies have migrated indoors to the treadmill. Many have gushed over the 12-3-30 workout: set the incline to twelve, your speed to 3 mph, and walk for thirty minutes. Many others simply love the ability to zone out and go for miles without realizing.
After Agonizing Over Options, I Tried The WalkingPad
I noticed the brand WalkingPad everywhere, even in the sea of overwhelming Amazon reviews. Besides, WalkingPad offers a direct-to-consumer option, which is right up my alley.
The brand’s website boasts a plethora of options that I couldn’t really tell the difference between; after reaching out to customer service, I understood which machines were walk-only and which ones could handle both walking and running. The WalkingPad C2 ($550) is a popular version for those who are just walking, and it comes in a variety of fun colors, but I wanted one that could handle some more mileage.
I ultimately opted for the WalkingPad R2 Walk&Run 2IN1 Foldable Treadmill ($899), the run-friendly version. It has a higher speed capacity, with an adjustable handrail to put up if you want your pace to exceed three miles per hour.
Pros & Cons Of The WalkingPad R2 Treadmill
When my WalkingPad R2 arrived, I disassembled the box in my front yard to examine how best to carry it. I live on the second floor, so I kept it in its square “folded” shape while hauling it to my apartment, which I did in a series of small deadlifts.
The weight was probably enough to be a bit risky, so I wouldn’t recommend for those in fifth floor walk ups, but it’d be functional with a partner, elevator, or if you happen to lift heavy already. I appreciated the convenience of its rolling capability, although the wheels are noticeably and frustratingly too small. Although you won’t want to move it long distances too often, you’re able to fold it up and roll it behind your sofa or appliances – a major win for small spaces.
To set it up, I plugged it in (make sure not to throw away the tiny box with the electronic bits!!!) and got to work. It makes a BIG sound as it unfolds, so be aware that it might be super loud to roommates if you’re getting it out at night. (You might just want to leave it unfolded if you have the room.) It comes with a power cord to plug in and a small wireless remote. You’ll also need to download the KS Fit App on your phone.
For being a literal treadmill, the WalkingPad R2 is unobtrusive. It emits a hum – louder when you’re running – but the floor below me said they didn’t hear it as I upped my mileage. It does feel a bit wobbly while running so I wouldn't plan on training for a half on it, but it’s great on days I’m craving endorphins despite bad weather. It’s easy to go on autopilot, the tread feels good, and the app is helpful rather than irritating.
The WalkingPad R2 definitely helps me get more steps. In the mornings, I roll out of bed and wake up with some endorphins. In the afternoons, I try a short stint or two when I get drowsy (a given around 2 P.M.), and then get in my workout walk at night while watching a show or two.
My Overall Experience With The WalkingPad
The WalkingPad R2 is an excellent way to accomplish what I wanted: more steps in my workday. It’s an elegant, flexible solution to limited space and time, so I can see why it’s so appealing to the WFH crowd. Its foldable feature is awesome, and I appreciate how nimble this edition is across speeds, allowing me to walk for ages or get in one brief, necessary run.
I’m trying to convert to being a morning athlete (because I normally prefer end-of-day workouts), and walking at a relaxed pace with a coffee while I check my email sounds like an appealing way to transition that preference: a consistent low impact way to boost my endorphins and get my day off to a great start. Bonus points for being in the A.C. and having the fridge an arm’s length away. I also figured jumping on it between Zoom calls and edits could help me dislodge brain fog during my workday.
Because it doesn’t require an active “I’m going to go to the gym” mindset, it’s an easy machine to hop on and off throughout the day to get some more burn in. A few wheels and wobbles are notable, but it’s overall a fair appliance for the price – that feels even more valuable in terms of solidifying healthy habits.
Spice Up Your Hot Girl Walk With These Five Add-Ons:
2. If you’re coffee-ing and walking at your desk, my latest fixation is Dirty Chai (2 for $24) from Dona. The l-theanine in the chai keeps my anxiety from spiking, but the espresso keeps my energy steady.
3. Go all in on the “hot girl walk” aesthetic by hydrating with Detox Water Drops (2 for $39) from Sakara. That green chlorophyll hitting water is a requisite shot in any wellness TikTok.
4. Bridge summer and fall with versatile activewear from Year of Ours. The Ribbed Flare Legging ($128) and Ribbed Bralette 2.0 ($65) are comfy enough to lounge in but active enough to hop on and off the treadmill at your leisure.
5. If cranking the AC and staying in your sweatsuit is more the vibe, try the Hot Red Colorblock Crew ($162) and Hot Red and Terez Pink Colorblock Joggers ($162) from Terez’s fall collection for some extra joy.