Looking for a winter hobby that leaves you feeling peaceful and energised rather than cold and stressed? One writer had a go at TikTok’s Hot Girl Walks for a week to find out if they might be the key to winter wellness.
Whether you were on TikTok last year or not, you’re unlikely to have escaped the rise of the ’hot girl’. But for the uninitiated, she’s probably not what you might think. In 2023, the hot girl isn’t defined physically, but through her presence. She’s hot, but not because her body looks a certain way; instead, because of her ambition, confidence and aura. And even though hot girl summer might slowly but surely be coming to an end, the ‘hot girl’ can be embodied all year round.
She’s a state of mind rather than a physical representation, one that has since transcended social media and made its way into the realms of fashion, beauty and now fitness.
Most famously, she manifests in the hot girl walk. Coined by TikTok user Mia in 2021, it is, in its purest form, a daily four-mile outdoor walk with an inspirational podcast or a carefully selected motivational playlist.
Sounds simple enough, right?
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However, the key is thinking about three specific things for the entirety of the walk:
- What you’re grateful for
- Your goals
- How hot you are
I can’t say that the latter comes naturally to me, and when I agreed to try the trend for a week,it was probably the part I was most apprehensive about.
As women, we’re often encouraged to be demure, modest and humble about ourselves, centring the feelings and needs of others above our own. Spending an allocated period of time thinking about nothing but myself is something I can truly say I’ve never done before.
But as I dressed in the appropriate uniform – Lululemon shorts, crisp Nike trainers, preppy ankle shorts and a track jacket – I started to warm to the notion. Maybe I’d learn something about myself, I thought, or at the very least, enjoy the opportunity to decompress from yet another overwhelming week of news.
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Physically, it wasn’t a big challenge. My week is normally a very active one, consisting of three to four gym strength workouts and a 10,000-a-day step goal, so the fitness aspect of the hot girl walk felt like it would fit seamlessly into my routine.
And it did. Granted, the day after intensive lower body sessions, my hamstrings felt like they screamed through each mile, but otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed hitting my step count and taking a much-needed screen break.
However, those who swear by the hot girl walk stress that it’s about so much more than fitness or potential weight loss. Instead, the focus is on the internal transformations that might take place: the blooming of confidence, the realisation of goals and the appreciation of your body.
With my playlist of Mariah, Eve and Doja Cat – aka the perfect ‘strut’ songs – on the streets ofnorth London, I began to get acquainted with my inner hot girl.
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I came to the conclusion that I feel at my best when I take time to care for myself and my body, whether that’s through exercising, hydrating or giving it what it needs.
I found that I feel my ‘hottest’ when I’m independent and can spend time with myself, in my own head, as well as being around other people who affirm me.
None of these revelations were particularly groundbreaking, but that’s not the point. They were valuable reminders that even taking five minutes out of your day to check in with yourself can make all the difference.
Naturally, my mind did wander, usually to everyday thoughts of dinner, work and general life admin, but I tried my hardest to stay on track.
Crucially, and even though I admit I’d dressed for the occasion, I focused less on looking hot and more on feeling hot. It was hard to divorce myself from my preconceived ideas of attractiveness, and I actually spent a bit of time reflecting on the ways in which the male gaze impacts me every day.
But as someone who has spent a lot of time evaluating her relationship with exercise to remove the unhealthy focus on aesthetics, it was important for me to approach it with an open mind and without judging myself.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with what I’ll admit I had dismissed as a total gimmick when I heard about it for the first time.
Look, I’m not promising that it will alter your life, but it’s a nice, fun and distracting thing to do – and isn’t that pretty much all we can really ask for when the world feels like it’s falling apart at our feet?
And of course, the unpredictable British weather isn’t entirely conducive to the ultimate hot girl experience. I imagine if I had been hiking in the California hills or pacing through Central Park with a latte in hand, it may have felt even more effective.
Did it change my life in a drastic way? No. Did I spend more time in nature, letting my thoughts drift and feet take me where they wanted to? Absolutely.
I truly neverthought I would say it, but thank you TikTok for helping me to discover the hot girl I always have been.
For more of the latest fitness trends, check out the Strong Women Training Club.
Images: Amy Beecham; Getty
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