More Strides = Fewer Pounds!
Want to lose weight, improve your health, maybe even improve your whole life?
Then it’s time to get out there and walk! It might surprise you to know just how powerful of a weight loss method walking can be. You can start slow and build up carefully, but getting to a higher and higher number of steps or amount of incline means you’ll lose more weight and build up your stamina easier and faster than you expected!
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES
The only “equipment” necessary for walking (unless it’s on the beach) are shoes and chances are you have a pair suitable for the job already. “Walking shoes” have flexible soles and stiff heel counters to prevent side-to-side motion. Normal flat surfaces only require low-heeled shoes that are comfortable, cushioned and lightweight.
DRINK GREEN TEA AFTER WALKING
Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can also help you recover faster after a brisk walk. In another study—this one on people—participants who combined a daily habit of four to five cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute workout for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than the non-tea-drinking exercisers.
DEVISE A GREAT WALKING PLAYLIST
Before you even think about lacing up your sneakers, think of the songs you want to hear as you make strides towards a fitter you. Having a great soundtrack to your walk will motivate you to push harder and go farther and the best part is that you probably won’t even notice the extra effort that you end up putting in. Look for songs that are between 75 to 130 BPM—these tempos will help you synchronize your strut to the beat.
KNOW YOUR ROUTE
It’s good to have a clear idea of where you’ll be walking on any given day. You’ll feel comfortable and confident knowing what to expect as you walk and not waste any walking time figuring out a route on the fly. Try and devise a handful of routes that vary in length, grade and terrain. Just a couple of route options can prevent your new belly blasting habit from getting repetitive.
FIND A WALKING BUDDY
Numerous studies confirm that having a strong support group is vital to achieving and maintaining weight loss success, with those who are part of a social support network losing more weight than their solo counterparts.
FIND THAT WALKING BUDDY AMUSING
It’s no joke: genuine laughter may cause a 10–20 percent increase in basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. That means a 10-15 minute giggle fest could burn up 40 to 170 calories.
BE PREPARED FOR WEATHER CONDITIONS
We don’t all live in San Diego which means that we have to deal with a dynamic climate. Don’t let a run of hot, cold, wet, windy or icy weather prevent you from walking off your belly. Get yourself kitted out with the right clothing for the sorts of weather your area can get in a given year. During a heat wave, walk before the sun gets too high in the sky, during a cold snap, do the opposite. A fair weather walker in Seattle or Fargo is going to miss out on a lot of belly blasting opportunities.
HIT THE BRICKS BEFORE BREAKFAST
According to holistic health coach Seth Santoro, the best strategy for lowering body fat percentage is to get your walk soon after waking up. “Your body is already in a calorie deficit, and it will ignite your body’s fat-burning ability,” he says. “Glycogen levels are depleted during sleep, so your body will utilize body fat as an energy source.”
– via Eat This Not That
Quick Ways To Boost Your Results
While you’re out there walking, there are tons of things you can do to increase your progress and boost your weight loss and muscle building results!
Walk this way
When it comes to walking, your body and brain know what to do. Makes sense—you’ve been doing it since you took those first wobbly baby steps. But with these three form fixes, you’ll maximize your burn, big time.
- Chin up. Your gaze shouldn’t be aimed at your feet, no matter how snazzy your sneakers are. Instead, focus on a point about 10 feet ahead of you. This will keep your stride longer and your neck comfortably in line with your spine.
- Activate your abs. When you brace your core—pulling your belly button toward your spine—you automatically trigger good posture.
- Squeeze your glutes. Your backside literally propels you through your walk. To get the most oomph—so you can go longer and faster—keep your glutes tight. Bad visual, good strategy: Imagine squeezing a winning lottery ticket between your cheeks.
4 ways to burn more fat
So you’re the impatient type? Use these tricks to up the challenge and calorie burn.
- Add hills. When you hit the hills on a treadmill or in your neighborhood, you increase your calorie burn by nearly 20 percent—and that’s just on a 1 to 5 percent incline.
- Go off-road. Head out for a light but brisk hike and you’ll torch about 430 calories in just an hour. Credit the uneven terrain—which forces you to work harder. Sub this in for one of your weekly power walks.
- Swing your arms. With elbows bent at 90 degrees and hands in loose fists, move your arms in an arc, keeping elbows tight to your body. This helps drive you forward, says Weltman, builds upper-body strength and can increase your burn by up to 10 percent.
- Make longer strides. Instead of taking more steps, “work on increasing your stride length,” Weltman says. “You’ll cover more ground,” and that means more fat fried.
– via Health.com
Have you ever tried walking to lose weight?