If you’ve chosen walking as your primary form of exercise, you’ve opted for a very effective way to burn calories and get in shape! The benefits of walking are numerous: It’s low-impact, almost everyone can do it, you don’t need special equipment or a gym membership, and you can really boost your metabolism and get healthier with this simple daily routine.
But as with any form of exercise, there are “not so great’ and “better” methods you can be using on your daily walk, and these choices can boost or decrease your overall calorie burn. Review your daily walking habits to make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes, because they could be impacting your weight loss plan results.
You don’t use your arms. Swinging or pumping your arms while walking will turn your exercise into a full-body workout, and help you burn more calories. Adding light weights to yo r hands can increase this effect further, although it’s not required.
You don’t vary your speed. Any exercise is better than no exercise. But if you want to reap the most results from the time you spend walking, make sure to vary your speed. Bump up your speed to a more brisk pace for about two minutes, then return to a comfortable pace for five minutes, and continue repeating this pattern throughout your walk. As you get more fit, you can increase the time you spend walking at higher speeds.
You chose a completely flat route. It’s often much more convenient and safe to walk at the mall or a nearby walking track. The downside of this choice is that a lack of hills means your body won’t be challenged nearly as much. Choosing a route with hills or stairs, or even using the resistance of walking in sand or pushing a stroller, can help to boost your calorie burn. You will also challenge your heart and improve circulatory health.
If you’re concerned about slow results from your weight loss plan, or need more information on balanced eating and exercise, please give us a call. We can help you with nutrition counseling, advice on your exercise regimen, screening for conditions that might affect your metabolism, and more.