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Hey fitness family how is everyone doing today? Today’s topic is an interesting one because I have heard loud and clear from many of you that for health reasons you were ordered by your doctor not to run. That’s legitimate. Many of our bodies and joints can’t take the pounding from running on hard surfaces like pavement or soft surfaces like a track or trail.
What’s left for many people as a viable option is walking. I will admit – at first I didn’t think walking was valid cardio. I know I know, I was being judgmental and in the early days of my fitness journey (about 10 years ago) I felt that if you don’t run, you won’t burn the fat or calories like talking about.
I am here to say I was wrong and I’m going to tell you how you can walk the weight and inches off of your body. This is tried and true, my mom started walking and incorporating these tips and lost 20 pounds in a single month in her early 60’s. If she can do it you can too.
Tip #1: Walk with a purpose
Strolls are nice but if you are on a mission to lose weight then walk briskly and with a purpose. Swing your arms and pick up the pace of your steps. That will get your heart rate up and burn calories which is what you want to lose weight and inches.
Suggested equipment: I recommend wearing a heart rate monitor, like the PolarFT4, while you walk to see where your heart rate is and to see if you are hitting your target heart rate based on your age and gender.
Tip #2: Speed it up
Try to walk as fast as you can during your walk. My recommendation is 4 mph to 4.5 mph. It is a challenging pace, sure to get your heart rate up and will rev up your metabolism for maximum calorie burn. That’s good and that’s what you want. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.
Tip #3: Use intervals
Just like a car driving in the city stopping and starting burns more gas than a car driving on the interstate, your body burns calories the same way. Intervals work like this, for a short period of time you walk with as much effort as you can muster, and then for another period of time you slow down and recover (you keep walking but not as fast).
You then continue these interval sets until your walk is done. Your body will TORCH calories because all of the go fast, slow down, go fast will force your body to burn more energy = burn more calories = YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
Suggested equipment: I recommend wearing an interval timer like a Gymboss Timer. It can be clipped on to your clothing and set in intervals. When an interval is up it can beep or vibrate so you know to perform the next interval. I own one and it is great.
Tip #4: Hit the hills
Walking on flat ground or treadmill is a great way to start walking but once you have mastered your pace it is time to challenge yourself some more so I suggest you hit the hills. Find a safe place outside or crank up the incline on your treadmill and walk it out.
You will immediately notice your heart rate go up and you know what else? You will feel it in your hamstrings, quads and glutes. YES, hitting inclines not only burns more calories in the same amount of time from walking on flat surfaces, it also tones the lower body area which is an awesome added bonus.
Tip #5: Take your time
I know this sounds like in direct conflict with tip #1 but what I’m saying here is plan to walk at least 30 minutes at least 3 times a week to get the results you want. If you want even quicker results, walk 60 minutes at least 3 times a week. You can break those 60 minutes up into 2 – 30 minute sessions. Here’s a beginner walking workout to get you started. You can do this outside in safe surroundings or on a treadmill in your home or at the gym.
Download the workout here –> Walk Off The Fat in 30 Minutes
I must say, these 5 tips will get you started but if you are serious about losing weight and inches then these additional tips will get you there.
- Be consistent – walk at least 3 times a week to see and feel results consistently.
- Stay hydrated – drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and even more if you are active to keep your body hydrated. Since water is 0 calories, you burn calories just digesting it. Our infusion water bottles with drink tracker help you stay on track with your daily water intake. #WIN
- Eat right – 70% of successful weight loss has to do with what you eat. Eat light healthy meals 6 times a day to keep that metabolism revved up and watch the fat and pounds melt away. A great way to help curb your appetite so you aren’t reaching for the unhealthy stuff is tea. I am drinking Pu-Erh by NakedMe Tea which is a fat burner. So far so good. While I eat 6 meals a day I am not eating as much at each meal because this helps curb my appetite yet gives me energy for my workouts.
- Get enough sleep – your body repairs itself while you are sleeping and if you short it with low hours of sleep, it encourages your body to hold on to fat. Get your sleep on sleeping beauties.
Still not sure if you can stick with walking as a way to lose weight and inches? Try these suggestions.
- Walk with a friend – it will help to keep you accountable, consistent and encouraged.
- Listen to power music – something about certain high energy songs that just give you life and energy and will have you walking with a purpose.
- Measure yourself – I bet once you see the weight come down on the scale or the tape measurer numbers come in you will want to keep walking.
I hope this post has encouraged at least one person to try walking as a viable form of cardio to lose weight and inches. If you decide to start walking as a result of reading this please leave a comment below and share. I want to hear all about it.
If you want to see more articles like this on the blog, leave a comment and share which health or fitness topics you are struggling with and would like to see more information on here. I want this space to be helpful for YOU.
In addition, if you need additional encouragement join my Facebook PRIVATE fitness group. The ladies are encouraging, motivating, and it will be difficult to not want to get up and get moving being there because everyone is extremely supportive. You can join us HERE and I will approve your request.
Do you use walking as a form of cardio? Why or why not?