A power-walking walking routine can help you shed those extra holiday pounds.
When you want to lose weight, walking might not come to mind. But it can be an effective exercise, especially combined with healthy eating.
Every step you take burns calories, but if your daily strolls haven’t helped you lose weight, you may need to increase your speed. Sometimes, it’s nice to slow down and smell the roses, as the old saying goes, but if you need to shed a few pounds, you need to incorporate power walking techniques into your routine.
To lose a pound a week, you need to eliminate about 500 calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn. Here are power-walking tips:
1) Pay attention to your posture. Stand tall, keep your head up, and look forward, not at the ground.
2) Lift your chest and relax your shoulders.
3) Tighten your abs and buttocks. Engaging your core will strengthen your muscles and decrease your risk of injury.
4) Swing your arms front to back. This will help you increase your speed. Don’t use hand weights as they put stress on your elbows and shoulders and could lead to injury.
5) Take smaller, faster steps — this will help increase your speed.
6) Stride naturally. Push off with your toes. Concentrate on landing on your heel, rolling through the step and pushing off with your toes. Don’t lock your knees. Avoid over-striding.
7) Breathe naturally and take deep, rhythmic breaths. You should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably.
8) Plan interval training. Speed up every 5 minutes for one minute. Or alternate one fast block with one or two slower blocks.
9) Try to get in “bonus” walks. When you go to the mall to do some shopping, do a “lap” inside before doing your errand. Is it a nice day? Go to the park with the grandkids and feed the ducks. Bad weather? Walk around your house or in the halls of your apartment building. If you’re an animal lover, visit the local animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs.
Try to walk at least four times for 30 minutes every week, but if you need to lose weight, it’s best to walk every day.
Once you’ve lost the weight, continue to exercise — it’s what helps keep the weight off. And make sure you also follow a healthy diet.
Happy New Year!