Walk your way to weight loss

Want to start off a slow and steady exercise plan or fit more exercise in with simple walking?  Or may all you can fit in is a short walk as things ramp up towards Christmas time? Here are a few tips to make the most of a good walk:-

  1. Walk briskly – walking for exercise won’t necessarily be of any use if you’re just out for a Sunday afternoon stroll.
  2. Do intervals – Adding bursts of speed will burn more fat and you’ll get fitter faster.  For everyone minute of fast walking, follow with three minutes of normal walking and then repeat five times as you are able.
  3. Walk to a beat – High energy tunes will help you keep a good, fast pace.  Songs with around 115 to 120 beats per minute are best for walking.
  4. Walk on sand – The increased resistance increases the effort you need to keep your balance and stability so you burn more calories.
  5. Try Nordic walking – Walking with ‘ski poles’ also helps you burn more calories than normal walking.
  6. Walk and talk – If you can talk at the same time as walking without loosing your breath, your not walking fast enough.  If you need to take a breath every few words, then you’ve got a good pace.

As an aside, try to walk as uprightly as possible, keeping a good posture.  Walk with your heels first, taking smaller rather than longer strides.  Once you’ve finished walking, stretch as part of your cool-down.