10 Ways to Walk Off the Pounds

Lets get right to it:

1.  Prep Before You Walk.  Take a few minutes to do some light warm ups by walking slowly to warm up your muscles. After warming up, do a few stretches such as a hamstring stretch and quad stretch. After each session, cool down for a few minutes and repeat.

2.  Challenge Your Muscles  There are three major areas of the body that can be toned by walking: the stomach, thighs and upper arms. There are many techniques you can do while walking that help tone theses areas.

• Have Some Fun

Try contracting stomach muscles four to 10 times while breathing normally. Hold until your muscles are fatigue and release. Try some walking lunges. Try marching in place while waiting to cross the street to keep your heart rate up. Bring a resistance band with you to do bicep curls or other bodyweight exercises while you walk. 

• Include Hills & Stairs

Adding bursts of intensity to your walking workout can help build your fitness and get your heart rate up. Hills and stairs are the easiest way to add these into your workout. You might even want to add a detour that specifically includes a hill climb or climbing stairs. On the treadmill, switch it up with hill intervals.

• Add Weights

Weights are a great, added aerobic benefit. Weights added to your belt or pockets help to evenly distribute weight while walking. You can also wear a backpack with a few books. This helps build muscle and increase your calorie burn!

3. Embrace easy Breathing & Some Sweating

A good brisk walking workout will result in you breathing harder than usual. That is a good sign that you are getting into the fat burning heart rate zone. Warm up at an easy pace, and then walk at a brisk pace for 30 to 60 minutes to get your body to burn the fat you want to lose.

4. Wear a Pedometer to Track Your Progress

A pedometer can help you calculate time and distance.  In fact, nothing beats a pedometer as a reality check on how much you actually are moving throughout the day. For weight loss, work your way up to 10,000 steps most days of the week. Record your distance and how many steps you take.

5. Set Realistic Goals (but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself)

Set realist goals based on your personal schedule. If you can only walk for 30 minutes a few days a week, it's a start. You can break it up into intervals such as do 15 minutes during lunch and another 15 minutes after work, or in the morning.

6. Walk (at least a little) Every Day

You don't burn calories during the exercise you don't do. There are a million excuses for why you can skip your walking or exercise on any given day. If you plan to walk off weight, you must conquer those reasons why you didn't get in your walking steps. Every. Single. Day.

7. Figure Out Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated

Take initiative to stay committed. Look at ways to make walking fun. Have a walking buddy such as a friend or spouse. Look into a health club or invest in a treadmill. Mix up your routine by creating different walking routes—look into other areas to walk in your neighbor such as the park.

8. Know How Many Calories You Really Burn

Brisk walking is an excellent fat-burning activity. But it is very easy to over-replenish those calories with a post-workout snack. A typical full-size energy bar is 300 calories, or about your expected calorie burn for a one-hour walk. Don't use your walking workouts to justify eating more calories.

9. Vary Your Workout

If your walking workouts are always on the same route, at the same pace, or with the same treadmill workout -- switch it up. Fast days, easy days, interval days, long, slow days -- each has its own benefits. Change up your walking workouts to get your body to build muscle and burn calories.

10. Say No to Sedentary Behavior (i.e Stop sitting so much)

If you get in your walking workouts most days of the week, but you sit for most of the day at work or school, you may still have a slower metabolism and increased health risks. Find ways to break up sitting time with bouts of standing, pacing, or walking. This is one way to get to 10,000 steps per day. Every bit of movement and standing burns more calories than sitting still. This can add up to burning hundreds more calories per day.

If you have any tips & tricks that you do during your walking workouts, let us know in the comments section below.  Every journey begins with a single step.  Happy Walking! 

Other related articles of interest:

4 Apps for Enhancing Your Health & Fitness Routines

Chiropractic and Exercise are better than drugs for chronic lower back pain

Dr. Lori Nuzzi

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