Walking, Weight Loss …. What’s the Deal??
It’s really great if you are a walker. I knew a sweet old couple that walked every single night after their dinner for about half an hour and they lived to a ripe old age!!
However, many people walk to try to lose fat and for weight loss. This sounds like a good idea, but it may not be very effective if the routine is
- not very challenging
- stays the same routine (speed/distance/variety)
A basic rule with any workout is this:
- If you don’t feel challenged at all, then you won’t get many benefits out of your workout. (Aim to be just a little bit out of your comfort zone).
The other basic rule is to add variety:
- Do not perform the same routine day after day.
If you walk the same speed and distance, it turns out that your body will no longer be stimulated to further improvements in fitness, weight loss or fat burning. This downside is exacerbated if you do the same speed and distance day after day. Whenever a workout is repeated over and over, your body gets more efficient at that workout. Therefore, because your body does not have to work as hard to complete the workout, it results in fewer calories burned and less weight loss / fitness achieved.
One of the best things you can do ( and this is not specific to walking only, in fact, any type of cardio exercise can be adapted to this workout) is interval training. This means varying your speed through out the workout.
- Walking fast for 2mins and walking easy/relaxed pace for 1 min and repeating it through out your workout.
As your fitness improves you could cut down the relaxed pace walking time or increase the fast pace walking time.
Remember to change both interval lengths and walking pace from day to day……. and watch those results appear!
Other tips – try changing the surface you walk on, try going up hills, and try varying the whole duration of your workout.
Better yet, grab a friend or two to join you. Studies show that those who exercise with a partner stick with it for longer and push themselves harder. Why not take a camera with you and have some fun on the way?
Happy walking =)
// aly //