- An exercise trend called the “Hot Girl Walk” is blowing up on TikTok.
- It was inspired during the pandemic by fitness influencer Mia Lind, a college student.
- The walk combines elements of exercise and positive thinking.
- Experts say it may be an effective way to boost both physical and mental health.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness and your self-esteem, the “Hot Girl Walk” trend on TikTok may be just the thing.
This social media phenomenon was created during the pandemic by TikTok influencer Mia Lind, an undergrad communications major at the University of Southern California.
Lind explained in an interview with HuffPost that the idea came to her because she was looking for a way to exercise that she didn’t mind doing. She chose walking because she felt there was a “meditative element” that comes from going on long walks.
However, she realized that there was a stigma attached to walking, with people viewing it as not being a legitimate form of exercise. To overcome this, she decided to do some “rebranding,” calling it the “Hot Girl Walk.”
In her explainer video, Lind flashes before and after photos of herself, showcasing the stunning changes that walking has made in her physique. She explains that what she did to achieve her fantastic results is “really easy and there’s really only one step”: the “Hot Girl Walk.”
Doing the walk itself is surprisingly simple. You walk 2 to 4 miles daily for about an hour. During your walk, you listen to uplifting podcasts or music.
It’s what you do during the walk that matters, she says. You’re only allowed to think about three things:
- Things you’re grateful for
- Your goals and how you’re going to achieve them
- How hot you are
She further explains that practitioners of the “Hot Girl Walk” should avoid thinking about relationship drama during their walk. If you begin to think about it, she advises turning up the volume on your music playlist to drown it out.
The most important part of the walk, however, is that it doesn’t end when the walk ends.
“You take that energy and you carry it with you throughout the whole day,” says Lind.
Dr. John Higgins, professor of medicine at The McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas, noted there are several potential benefits for physical health that might come from doing the “Hot Girl Walk.”
“Walking 2 to 4 miles (4,000-8,000 steps) per hour is a great way toward your 10,000 steps a day,” he said, adding that, “it’s easy to get the other 2,000 steps in the remaining hours of the day.”
He also explained that exercising outdoors will help contribute to strong bones by upping your vitamin D production.
Additionally, he said that listening to uplifting music during exercise has been linked to improved vascular function, which means it can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a board-certified sports dietitian and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, explained that there are many mental health benefits as well.
“Doing exercise boosts up our feel-good hormones known as endorphins which can benefit your mood, reduce anxiety, stress and worrying, and overall improve your mental health,” said Ehsani. “Also engaging in positive self-talk will also boost up your mood and benefit your overall mental health.”
“There is no doubt that elements of Mia’s program will boost physical and mental health,” said Melissa L. Bates, PhD, FAPS, associate professor of health and human physiology, internal medicine, and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, citing many of the same points as her colleagues.
“Exercise is a pillar of good mental health and a program like Mia’s could have very positive mental benefits,” she concluded.
The experts that spoke with Healthline about the “Hot Girl Walk” were overwhelmingly positive about the impact the exercise could have on a person’s overall health.
Higgins said, “It’s a win-win: a combination of physical boost (you’re exercising) as well as a mental boost (you’re thinking positively with your mind).”
He also liked the fact that it paired exercise with thinking about what he called the “3 G’s”: grateful for, goals, and good-looking/inner glow.
Higgins said the “Hot Girl Walk” is an exercise he would recommend for younger children as well.
“My daughter who is 7 years old wears a Fitbit Ace 3 to measure her 10,000 steps a day and positive self-talk and being grateful would surely help her even at an early age,” he said.
Ehsani praised it as well, saying it’s promoting physical activity and educating people in a fun way, but isn’t promoting anything unhealthy or unrealistic.
“Doing 2 to 4 miles is an achievable goal to do most days of the week. A person could even start off with just 1 mile and work their way up,” she said.
Bates said, “I like that her challenge takes the emphasis off of exercise – which can be discouraging and overwhelming to some people – and incorporates it as a component of other healthy lifestyle behaviors. We know that people are more likely to exercise when they are doing something they enjoy or feel positively motivated by, as opposed to an obligation.”
Bates added that the “Hot Girl Walk” also aligns with what we know about the physiological benefits of exercise and behavioral change, noting that it’s a simple and uplifting way to create a new healthy habit.