Gyms Now Offer Hot-Girl-Walk Classes — but You Don't Need One to Score the Benefits

woman sitting on stairs looking at phone after a hot girl walk
POPSUGAR Photography | Chaunté Vaughn
POPSUGAR Photography | Chaunté Vaughn

Ever pop on your headphones to power walk for a few miles on the treadmill or around your neighborhood? Then you've already taken a hot girl walk.

This now-TikTok-famous version of a moving meditation originated with University of Southern California student Mia Lind (or @exactlyliketheothergirls on TikTok), who was searching for "a type of exercise that I didn't dread," she tells POPSUGAR. "I realized the meditative element that comes with going on a long walk. I also felt that walking had a strong stigma as not being a valid form of exercise, so [I] gave walking some rebranding as a hot girl walk!"

Now, the hot girl walk is a full-fledged thing (with 576 million views on TikTok, and counting) — and Lind even owns a trademark to the phrase. Google searches for "walking" hit a 10-year high in 2022, making it one of the year's biggest fitness trends. Workout studios and gyms have even started offering group classes based on the popularity of the hot girl walk: Megaformer studio SLT now offers a HIIT walking class (25 minutes of strength training on a Megaformer, then 25 minutes of walking on a treadmill); Equinox offers a class called Precision Walk: Elevate, akin to hiking on a treadmill; and streaming platform Peloton offers tons of treadmill walking classes, the popularity of which has gone up since the surge in popularity of hot girl walks — the number of walking classes taken by members from October to December went up 23 percent from 2021 to 2022, a Peloton rep tells POPSUGAR.

That said, you don't need a treadmill, instructor, or organized class to take a hot girl walk. In fact, that might even take away from the magic. So, why should you jump — or walk — on this trend? We spoke with a doctor, therapist, and personal trainer to find out why they're all fans of the hot girl walk.

What Is a Hot Girl Walk, Exactly?

To take a hot girl walk, all you need to do is throw on your favorite walking shoes, hop on the treadmill or a safe path outdoors, put on your go-to playlist, and think about whatever you want while you walk, according to Lind. (Four miles is her suggestion, though you can walk for as long or short as you'd like.) And for the record, hot girl walks are not exclusive to those who identify as a "girl" — they're for anyone of any gender identity who wants to walk with purpose and manifest their dreams. Lind says that during her hot girl walks, she thinks about what she's grateful for and reflects on her accomplishments.

The Benefits of Hot Girl Walks

As previously mentioned, Lind found that taking a hot girl walk can be a meditative experience — and therapist Divya Robin, MHC-LP, agrees. "I've been loving this trend as it's been getting my clients up and out of the house and promoting the benefits of body movement for mental health," the therapist says. Hot girl walks "give people a time to focus inward on their goals, values, and the person they want to be — versus who they often are when they are running on autopilot daily," she explains. Hot girl walks are also called "mental health walks" for that exact reason.

The viral trend also has physical health benefits, according to doctor Manish Mishra, MD, MPH. "Walking is a good aerobic exercise that helps pump blood throughout the body," he says. "This not only improves the blood flow, but it also induces the release of endorphins. This leads to improvements in mood and life satisfaction." Not to mention, it's a beginner-friendly way to get active that doesn't require any equipment or a gym membership.

Tips For Taking Hot Girl Walks

Another fan of this trend is Les Mills US head trainer and NASM-certified personal trainer Rachael Babiracki. "My favorite thing about this trend is the focus on getting out and moving, but doing so in a way that is empowering," she says. "It's moving away from diet culture, it's moving away from a focus on weight loss, and it's about just getting out, being with yourself, moving your body, and focusing on positive thoughts . . . The positivity around it I think is really refreshing and great to see, so that's the part I love to call out."

Now that you're already hyped up to take a hot girl walk, here are some tips from Babiracki on what to wear and bring with you:

  • Supportive Shoes: Any pair of supportive shoes or athletic sneakers should do the trick. Need a pair? This list of walking shoes is a good place to start browsing for ones that are right for your foot.
  • Water: "Whether you carry [a water bottle] or you get a CamelBak, make sure you've got some water with you as you're walking along," Babiracki says.
  • Music: "Four miles is long, so have a good playlist to keep you motivated, to keep you in the right headspace and enjoying it," she says. "If you're enjoying yourself, then that's how you create long-term habits." Need some hot girl walk music inspo? Then try using Lind's hot girl walk Spotify playlist that currently has over five hours of walkable bops.
  • Sun Protection: If you choose to take your hot girl walks outdoors, remember to put on sunscreen and a hat to shield yourself from the sun, Babiracki says.
  • Proper Clothing: If you're hot girl walking in the colder months (we see you!), remember to layer up to keep your body warm. That likely means putting on a hat, gloves, and maybe a gaiter to keep your extremities warm and your face protected.

— Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo