In November 2020, Mia Lind was looking for a way to get out of her head and also move her body as a stressed-out senior in college amid the pandemic. Little did she know that a walking habit she created for herself, dubbed the “hot girl walk,” would become a TikTok fitness sensation.
Since posting her first walking video to the social media app in January 2021, the hashtag #hotgirlwalk has amassed more than 641 million views and Lind says she’s received messages about the walk changing people’s lives.
What is a “hot girl walk,” exactly? Lind told CBS News it’s a four-mile outdoor mindfulness walk during which you’re supposed to think of three things:
- What you’re grateful for
- Your goals
- And how you’re going to achieve them
“And lastly, how hot you are, of course,” Lind laughs.
At least, that’s how it began, the creator says. But the concept is adaptable to each person. For example, it doesn’t need to be outdoors or four miles to be considered a hot girl walk in Lind’s eyes.
“It’s really all about building confidence and taking time for yourself,” she explains. “So whatever is most convenient for you.”
The whole goal of the hot girl walk was to make fitness more accessible, Lind says, which is why walking was an ideal option even if it wasn’t a “trendy” form of exercise.
“Our generation sees walking, or at least did… as not really a valid form of exercise,” she says, pointing to running videos or YouTube ab workouts as what she typically saw online. “For some people starting out, (those) can be really scary, and walking is a very accessible form of exercise. You can be at any fitness level to begin (and) it’s completely free.”
While walking may not have been as “trendy,” it’s a great exercise option.from Cambridge University found that even an 11-minute walk a day can lower your risk of stroke, heart disease and a number of cancers.
Lind has seen all ages take advantage of the “spunky”-named, “friendly” fitness idea.
At a meetup she hosted in Malibu, the 24-year-old saw not only those in her demographic, but also middle-aged parents, seniors and ages in between.
Part of the popularity? It’s not only about physical health, but mental health as well.
Before starting her walks, Lind says she was scared to be left alone with her thoughts.
“I had a lot of negative self-talk that had developed during the pandemic that was just getting louder and louder,” she explains.
But through her walks, Lind has noticed major changes in both her physical and mental health, including increased confidence and fitness level as well as a lessening of anxiety and negative thoughts. And now as a full-time worker in the tech industry, it also helps her de-stress.
If you’re interested in starting a hot girl walk routine yourself, Lind shares some tips:
Get out there: The hardest part is getting started, Lind says, but blasting a fun playlist can help you get motivated.
Dress comfy: A quality shoe and thick socks are a game-changer, she says.
Just do what you can: Walking for four miles takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, Lind says, which is about how long it may take someone to go to the gym. But you can also break it up into pieces if that’s better for your schedule.
“Just going out 20 minutes three times a day, that’ll get you to three miles,” she says. “Don’t push yourself to go too far. Start off small and see where you can go.”
Be safe: Lind suggests changing up your walking route, letting a buddy know when you head out or keeping a personal safety device with you.
“You can’t be hot if you’re not safe,” she adds.