I never thought I would commit to walking exercises.
You know, walking to achieve fitness, walking to burn off extra calories, walking to achieve fat-burning for real result weight loss?.......
In fact, I was quite disdainful about the whole hoo hah surrounding the subject of "walking to lose weight"...
"WALKING TO LOSE WEIGHT"?.......
Are you kidding me?
Then, it happened that when I was recuperating from some injuries, I chose walking exercise as an alternative to my usual cardio and toning exercise routine.
After 3 weeks of the walking program, I was hooked.
Now, walking exercise is an integral part of my cardio workout.
Along with it, I've learnt the rope of fit walking and to lose weight as well.
Come, join me in this new discovery.
Well, not really new discovery, but some worthwhile perspectives I've picked up along the way.
Let's journey on.....
The first thing I discover about walking exercises is that they're not only great to keep you in good health, they're also one of the best weight loss exercises around.
Nowadays, my walking program is geared towards the objective of walking to lose weight, rather than just walking.
I do this to develop an effective and efficient walking exercise program that banks on gradually developing my health, burning my fat efficiently so that in future, I can do higher calorie burning exercises to speed up my weight loss.
The second thing I discover about walking exercises is that they can turn your body into the most effective fat-burning machine!
Whoa! Surprise, surprise.
Let's see how this can be done.
You probably heard before that if you want to lose weight, you should exercise at a lower intensity since at this level, fat is said to contribute more to the metabolic burn-up.
However, Gatorade Sports Science Institute's research finding reveals that though low intensity cardio uses a larger percentage of fat than high intensity one, the fat calories are being burned at a slower rate (4 to 5 calories per minute).
By comparison, high intensity cardio though uses a smaller percentage of fat, the fat calories are being burned at a higher rate (10 to 13 calories per minute).
Walking exercises that's engineered towards losing weight fit into the 2 fat-burning scenarios I described above as they can be done:
Let's look at the positive benefits of walking:
When starting a walking program, get yourself prepared for the followings:
For walking attire, you would want to:
Invest in a pair of good quality walking shoes as they're your most critical walking gears.
When you choose walking shoes, look out for:
Taking all the above factors into consideration, I would say a well-fit pair of walking shoes would be the best choice for you.
Personally, I prefer stability shoes as they're excellent for cushioning and stability and they also provide comfort and flexibility.
Start your walking exercises with a warm up.
Get your muscles warm up for 5 minutes before you stretch or add speed.
Stretching adds flexibility and makes your walking more comfortable.
Warm up for 5 minutes at an easy walking pace before stretching.
Remember, never stretch cold muscles as you risk injuring them. You should start stretching your head first and work your way down.
Here are some examples of stretching you can do:
The purpose of this stretch is to make 1/4 circles with your head.
Start with your ear near your shoulder on one side, rotate your head around to the front, ending with your ear near the shoulder on the other side.
Roll your head back to the other side.
Do 5-10 times.
This stretch is done one arm at a time.
Make backward arm circle with your palm facing out, thumb pointing up.
Do 10-15 times for each arm.
Then make forward arm circles with palm facing in, thumb pointing down.
Do 10-15 times for each arm.
Stand straight, take a half-step back with your right foot.
Bend your left knee, shift your weight back to your right hip.
While keeping your right leg straight, bend forward more and reach further down your right leg.
Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Switch sides and do the same.
Face the pole, hold on with both hands. Bending your knee, bring one leg forward, then extend and swing that leg back and behind.
Do 10-15 times, then switch legs.
For the final 5-10 minutes of your walking program, finish with an easy walking pace.
Also you could repeat the stretching you did after your warm-up.
I think a proper explanation in regards to "calories" and "weight" is called for at this juncture so that you can grasp a better understanding of the relationship between these 2:
"A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 1 pound per week you'll need to expend 3500 more calories than you eat in that week, whether by means of increased activity such as walking exercise or decreased eating or by both means".
Hence, a combination of increased activity such as walking exercise and decreased eating that totals 3500 calories for 7 days should be your weight loss goal.
The formula is this: your weight x distance equals to energy spent in walking.
Time does not matter as much as distance. If you speed up to walking a mile in 13 minutes or less, you burn more calories per mile.
See here the relationship between calories burned and the speed you walk.
That said, if you're a beginner walker, it's best for you to increase the distance before increasing the speed.
Note: For walking exercises, a simple rule of thumb for calories burned per mile is 100 calories per mile for a 150-pound person
To burn more calories, the best way is to walk longer distance i.e. walk more miles per day.
You build leg muscles as you increase your walking distance and your time.
After you've mastered this, you can proceed to race walk, which would help you to build new muscles and burn even more calories per mile.
If you're not interested in race walking to build muscle, you should add some strength training to your overall exercise program to build muscle, in addition to your walking exercises.
Commit to a walking exercise program that gears you to walk in such a way to burn more calories every hour, every day or even while you sleep by building up more of your muscles.
When you add muscles to your body, you increase your basal metabolic rate - the number of calories you burn each day at rest.
How do you achieve this?
By race walking. At speeds of over 13-minute mile rate, you'll burn more calories per mile as you use more muscle groups and as you build more muscles.
I'll show you here the proper way to do race walking so that you can build more muscles and burn more calories:
A combination of walking exercise and a healthy diet is your key to losing weight.
You do one without the other and you'll tend to face frustration in your effort to lose weight.
So, try out the walking exercises together with a healthy weight loss diet, you'll bound to achieve both health and weight loss soon.