Do you love to walk but aren’t feeling a difference in your body shape or stamina? Our bodies quickly adapt to routines and tend to not change much if our workouts don’t change. There are three ways to jazz up your walking routine and begin to see terrific results. One key factor to be mindful of is the impact your diet has on your metabolism, energy level and body shape. Eighty percent of the battle of the bulge is won or lost in the kitchen. Make sure you’ve cleaned your pantry and fridge of junk food, processed food and unhealthy snacks. Once you’ve begun developing healthy eating habits, try these three steps to ramp up your walking regime. Here’s the breakdown on maximizing duration, frequency and intensity.
- Frequency. At the beginning of your new walking plan, commit to walking at least three days a week. Try to select the same three days and stick with these to develop a habit. To keep it simple, consider walking every other day of the week. After a few short weeks, your body will begin to expect the added energy gained from these walks.
- Duration. As you revamp your walking program, aim for at least twenty minutes per walking session. This is long enough to begin to realize the benefits, but not so long at the beginning to seem overwhelming. When you set smaller, shorter goals, there easier to attain and staying on track will be worth the reward in the increased energy level gained from power walks of twenty minutes every other day.
- Intensity. Now that you’re walking for twenty minutes every other day, push yourself to tackle hills and increase your speed. Break down your walk into four mini sections of five minutes each. The first five minutes is your warm up session walking briskly to warm up your muscles. The next five minutes should be at a higher intensity such that you can still carry on a conversation. The third five minute section should be full intensity with the objective to elevate and maintain a maximum heart rate for true fat burn and cardiovascular development.
After a few short weeks of the above routine, you’ll begin to not only see a difference in your shape, but have a renewed sense of energy and begin to look forward to your daily walks. Whether you’re walking around the neighborhood, a big box store or on a treadmill in the gym, be sure to use a quality moisturizer and drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.