Walking seems to be the fitness trend that continues to grow. In 2020 and 2021, many of us take up the habit out of necessity. The Covid-19 pandemic closed gyms and fitness studios across the country, so a daily walk became one of the few exercise opportunities available to us. As of 2021, people walked more miles per person than they did since 2002.
Now that restrictions have been lifted, our obsession with walking has only grown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), walking remains the most popular form of exercise. And if TikTok is anything to go by, walking to get fit is creating more buzz than ever. Viral treadmill-walking trends like 12-3-30 and Taylor Swift Treadmill Strut have racked up millions of views.
Hot girl walk is the latest walking trend that took TikTok by storm. And while this fitness trend promises to keep you fit, it’s not necessarily what you might think. Unlike some previous fitness trends, the hot girl walk isn’t just about physical conditioning, it’s also about mental conditioning.
What’s the hot girl ride anyway?
The hot girls ride is not what it seems. While you may think it’s about walking to look ‘hot,’ it’s actually about walking to feel hot.
The hot girl walk was coined by TikTok user Mia @exactlyliketheothergirls in 2021. As she explained in a video, the hot girl walk in its purest form is a daily four-mile walk outdoors with an inspirational podcast or a handpicked motivational playlist – Mia even shared hers on Spotify. But that is not all.
“A lot of people think that the hot girls walk is about losing weight, but it’s not,” she said. “The greatest transformations are those that begin internally.”
Mia explains that the hot girl walk consists of thinking about three specific things during the entirety of the walk:
- what you’re thankful for
- Your goals
- how hot are you
The general idea is to encourage yourself to adopt positive thinking patterns. You should avoid obsessing over to-do lists, worries, or relationship problems. Instead, think about the positive things in your life, and of course, it wouldn’t be a hot girl summer if you didn’t also think about how sexy you are!
What are the benefits of the hot girl walk?
The physical benefits of walking have already been widely recognized in the medical community. Daily walks have been shown to improve everything from cardiovascular health to mobility.
As a 2014 study showed, walking offered remarkably similar physical benefits to running when it came to reducing hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes.
A 2022 study even found that “brisk” walking could help slow down the biological aging process.
But the fashion of walking with attractive girls goes beyond the physical aspect of things. It’s also about improving mental health and self-esteem through mindfulness and positive thinking and, of course, an hour break from screens.
“Getting out of the house and getting some fresh air can help improve your mental health,” says Lucy Arnold, founder of fitness brand Locket Loves. “Getting your heart pumping, fresh air, and a bit of scenery may be just what you need to help clear your mind and help you think.”
In theory, it should help reduce anxiety, stress, and unhealthy thought patterns, while also improving self-image. After all, by spending an hour reaffirming your own warmth, you might feel a little more, well, warm.
Why positive thinking works and how you risk going wrong on the way to the sexy girl
At a glance, it’s easy to see why the hot girl walk attracts so many young women. Recent studies have found that mental health, in general, has been deteriorating among young people in recent years. And in 2019, a staggering 50% of 18-24 year olds said they were concerned about their body image.
For many people with anxiety or low self-esteem, toxic thought patterns can make things worse. By encouraging yourself to think in more positive patterns, you can begin to rewire your mind to think about your life and your body more kindly.
“Positive affirmations are good for you, telling yourself that you are worth it and you are worth it,” says Arnold. “Thinking about all the wonderful things that you are capable of, and what you have achieved and what you hope to achieve can be a great way to improve yourself and your mood.”
However, on the other hand, there are some elements of positive thinking that may not work as well as some TikTokers claim.
“Sometimes it’s good to just unplug,” Arnold continues. “If you force yourself to think about things every day, it will become just another chore and something you don’t necessarily want to do. This can make you feel bad about yourself, which is in direct contradiction to what you’re trying to achieve.”
Like other overly prescriptive meditation techniques, it’s easy to feel like you’re “going wrong” on a hot girl ride, especially when you struggle to keep your mind focused on the three things you’re “allowed” to think about.
And then there’s the focus on ‘spicy’. While feeling confident in your body is a big part of mental health, the relentless focus on being the so-called ‘hot girl’ can make the hot girl walk feel exclusive to some people. Many TikTok videos feature women showing off their ‘hot girl walking’ outfits or filming themselves feeling hot on their walks. So this trend may seem a bit counterintuitive, while the goal is to focus less on looking sexy and more on feeling hot, TikTok can make it difficult to separate the two ideas.
Also, it can make some people feel that attractiveness is, after all, purely a matter of appearance. Maybe it was only a matter of time before TikTok gave us the idea of walking!
Tips to make the sexy girl walk work for you
- Find out what feeling hot means to you. Maybe it’s more about being strong, mobile, and kind to yourself and less about your body or your workout clothes.
- Be a little flexible. Remember that the four miles, playlist, and three point thinking rules are all made up. Get inspired by the trend and create your own routine that suits your schedule; you will be much more likely to continue like this.
- If you can’t go for a walk for an hour, you can still practice positive thinking. “Tell yourself something positive every day, even if you don’t think it’s a big deal,” Arnold suggests.
Overall, it sounds like the hot girl walk has the potential to be great for you, both physically and mentally. But like many TikTok trends, it tends to try to be two conflicting things at once. While it’s easy to focus on the aesthetic of the hot girl walk, remember that it’s really about how it makes you feel.