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From Hot Girl Walks to Soft Hiking: How Walking Became A Viral Exercise

In case you missed it, walking has become the exercise of the moment. From soft and fast hiking to hot girl and wine walks, TikTok has turned what might once have been considered the most basic of the movements into the it girl of the exercise world. We decided to break down 2023’s top four viral walking trends and ask why it’s become such a popular way to exercise.

Soft Hiking Hiking has been a fashionable form of exercise since LA-bound celebs donned their biker shorts and varsity-style caps and made their way into the Instagrammable mountains, but it isn’t actually the most accessible form of exercise *cue soft hiking*. The soft hiking hashtag has already gained 1 million views on TikTok and its focus is on getting outdoors, appreciating mother nature and all her offerings and moving your body in a low-impact way.

It’s not about how far you walk, how steep the incline is or how long you do it for and it isn’t reserved for a certain fitness level. It’s just a fun way to stay active and enjoy the beauty of green spaces. Fast Hiking Unlike its super chilled sister, fast hiking ramps it up in the speed department. It’s a form of hiking that embodies the same benefits as running but with a reduced risk of injury. It’s not all about a need for speed though and much like the softer version, the trend still has the key focus of appreciating your natural surroundings and doesn’t put pressure on a certain completion time or distance.

Hot Girl Walks The OG of walking trends is the hot girl walk. First popularised in the summer of 2022, it’s a trend that’s clearly here to stay. The reason behind its cult success? The fact that it’s a fitness trend which extends past more than just the physical.

The name of this trend can be deceiving, it’s not about looking hot, it’s about feeling hot. Coined by TikToker Mia (@exactlyliketheothergirls), the hot girl walk is all about getting your steps in to a soundtrack of motivation whether that’s your latest podcast obsession or a powerful music playlist. In one of her videos, Mia explains “A lot of people are thinking that the hot girl walk is about weight loss, but it’s not,” she said. “The biggest transformations are the ones that start internally.”

Typically, hot girl walks are a solo activity and focus on taking a mindful moment for yourself.

Basically, the hot girl walk combines a daily form of exercise with mindfulness and positive thinking, and of course despite the name anyone can embark on a hot girl walk. It’s a mindset more than anything. Wine Walks The wine walk is 2023’s latest walking obsession and it’s like the big sister of the hot girl walk. TikToks #winewalk is flooding people’s fyps and the hashtag has already gathered 12 million views and counting.

As the name suggests, the original trend consists of walking with booze – however since its conception, plenty of participants have adapted it so sober walkers can take part too. Created by TikTok user @queeenkenzzzz the wine walk sees people decant their fave tipple into a portable bottle (think a Stanely cup or Chillys bottle) and go on an evening walk with their friends.

It’s the social element of the wine walk that sets it apart, making the trend about getting together with your besties and enjoying your preferred bevvy whilst getting outdoors and getting some movement in.

Why has walking become so hyped? All of these viral walking trends share lots of things in common, and these commonalities empathise exactly what makes walking such a top-tier form of exercise. It’s super accessible Walking is something that can be done anywhere. No matter where you are in the world, it’s universally accessible, so it’s no surprise that it’s taking the internet by storm. It’s adaptable Walking and all of its counterparts can be adapted to any kind of fitness level, time restriction and equipment availability. Only have 30 mins on your work lunch break in central Brighton? You can still get in a 15-minute form of exercise. Got a pair of hiking shoes and a couple of hours to spare on the weekend? Get your friends together and give some hiking a go. It’s crazy good for you Walking has been proven to be SO good for both physical and mental health. From helping to improve memory, sleep and cognition to reducing stress and the risk of heart disease and strokes, it’s an incredible way to get your body moving whilst reaping a whole host of rewards. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who engaged in regular walking reported better mental well-being and overall happiness.

It gets you outdoors Walking can of course be done on a treadmill, but one of the most prominent themes of each of the above walking trends is that it gets you into nature, getting some fresh air whilst taking some time to really appreciate your surroundings.

At Projects we’re definitely subscribers to the walking hype, Alex, Director of Strategy, Brand and Culture at Projects says: ‘Walking is such a beneficial activity to add to your working day. Taking some time out, whether it’s a quick 15 minute walk or a longer hour or so stroll, can be hugely impactful. Not only is it a great way to practice mindfulness and bring things into perspective but it’s also so good for your health, posture and and also to enable you to just appreciate the beautiful outdoors a bit more, too. We’re lucky enough to have Brighton beach right on our doorstep, making a dreamy setting for a lunch break walk, and we recently started a new walking event called Walk & Talk focussed on giving our members time to connect with one another whilst fitting in a form of activity to break up the working day.’

To find out full Walk & Talk details and see our full event schedule, click here!


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