Walking is great exercise, but it’s important to do it the right way if you’re intending to lose weight. Yes, walking here and there will benefit your health, but check out our tips and tricks to get the pounds off.
Walk and get trim
Adding in 30 minutes of brisk walking into your routine can burn around 150 more calories a day. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? However, the quicker you walk, the most calories you’ll burn up. Also, walking and exercise are a little bit addictive once you get going. You’ll find yourself wanting to go walking for more than just a half hour once you feel the effects of the endorphins, the way your body gets toned and stronger. You’ll also be speeding up your metabolism, so you burn calories while you rest. Great news, isn’t it?
1. Be conscious
Being conscious when you walk will make it a more effective method of exercise. If you get distracted, you’ll slow down and won’t be burning those precious calories.
2. Establish a rhythmic pattern
Finding your personal pace is key to keeping going for longer and not tiring too soon to be able to accomplish your goals. If you go too slowly, you will probably get bored and demotivate yourself! If you go too fast, you’ll be out of breath and drag yourself along unhappily. Have you ever witnessed teenagers doing a cross country run? There are young people who really want to win the race, so they set off fast and try to maintain this pace for as long as possible. They often start walking half way round. Then there are more experienced, or fitter, runners who know how to pace themselves beautifully. They seem to be running slow at first in comparison to those around them, but they maintain the same steady pace throughout the whole race, and even have the energy to push themselves and speed up if necessary towards the end.
Your approach to exercise is key to your success. Start off with 30 minutes at a pace you can maintain for the whole half hour. Once this feels easy, up your pace slightly or go for longer, depending on your preference and time commitments. Enjoy your body and your new exercise program. Don’t beat yourself up for going slowly at first, or missing a few days. Just get yourself up again and begin once again.
To motivate you more, here are the stats behind your pace:
- Stroll pace: burns about 238 calories per hour. We might express this as an intensity of 4/10, or “window-shopping” pace.
- Brisk walking pace: burns about 340 calories per hour. Think 5-6/10 on an intensity scale, or having to catch your breath when gossiping with a friend as you walk beside them.
- Power walking: 564 calories burnt every hour. Think swinging arms, longer strides and hardly being able to string together three words without difficulty.
3. How to walk to burn fat
A study on women who walked fast for 30 minutes three times a week and at a moderate pace twice a week lost six times more abdominal weight than the women who just strolled five days a week.
Experts say that this is because there is a strong link between intensity of exercise and fat-burning hormones. As you progress, you’ll notice how walking faster results in faster weight loss!
4. Breathe right
Breathing in through your nose filters out dust and dirty from the air coming in and helps you maintain the proper balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body.
When you are walking, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, deeply, and roughly in a ratio of 2:4 to begin with. As you gain momentum, you will be more tired and it will be harder to focus on your breathing, but keep breathing in consciously through your nose deeply.
Another method is “breathwalking”. Here, you coordinate your breathing rate with your steps, so that one in breath equals four steps, and one out breath equals four steps, too. Do this for five minutes, then take a break for 3 (walking at your regular pace).
Ever see people blowing air out with their mouths in a sort of whistling position. You can also do this as you exhale. Focusing on your breathing will calm your mind and relax you.