Walking for Weight Loss
There are a lot of fad exercise programs out there. They show up, get really popular, and then you never hear about them again. But one plan that keeps showing up over and over again is walking. The reason? It’s easy to do and it actually works. The key is knowing how to do it right.
The first step is to walk long enough; about an hour a day, 5 to 6 days a week. If this is too much for you, start walking less and work your way up. If you can only make it 15 minutes, then walk 15 minutes. If you stick with it, you’ll soon find that you can walk 30 or 40 minutes. Just walk every day and you’ll reach that hour mark in no time
The second step to getting a good workout from walking is to get walk fast enough to keep your heart rate up. Once you’ve hit your goal of walking an hour, try increasing how far you walk. Aim to walk a little farther than you did the day before, while still walking for only an hour. Another great way to keep up your heart rate is to alter how fast you go within your walk. For example, start at a normal pace for a minute or two; then walk as fast as you can for a minute. After that minute just repeat the process for your whole walk. This will maintain a good heart rate without wearing you out.
The last step is to build muscle mass so you keep burning calories even when you’re not working out. If you’re just starting out, you will probably build muscles just by walking. Once you’re more accomplished, you can do this by adding hills or steep slopes to your route. You can also build muscles by having a proper walking posture, holding in your stomach, and flexing your leg muscles as you walk. If you’re a serious walker, you can learn to race walk to further build muscle mass.
Now that you’ve gotten started on your walking workout, remember to keep going. If you start to get bored, listen to your favorite tunes on an Ipod or invite a friend to come along. Try altering your route and explore a new area. Just don’t give up and you’ll do great!