According to Natural Health, “Walking is the simplest, cheapest and most convenient way to exercise. But if your goal is to lose weight, an easy stroll isn't going to cut it.” A 150-pound person burns less than 100 calories on a leisurely half-hour walk.So, turn up the intensity of a walk and burn more calories with these three simple habits:
· Walk faster. People often wonder how you might burn more calories per mile at slow speeds. This is because you are basically stopping and starting with each step and your momentum isn't helping to carry you along. Your body walks more efficiently at moderate speeds. Meanwhile, at very high walking speeds you are using more muscle groups with arm motion and with a racewalking stride. Brisk walking, at a pace that makes it tough to talk, which means at least two miles in 30 minutes, is a good way to lose weight. Your goal should be to work out at about 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. (To calculate your target heartbeats per minute, subtract your age from 220, and then multiply that number by 0.705.)
· Add incline. Walk up a hill or stairs to add cardiovascular conditioning to your workout. This not only increases your calorie expenditure but also tones the muscles in your buttocks and thighs because it demands more from your legs.
· Walk for a longer time. Many people think that walking three times a week for 30 minutes at a time is the magic weight-loss formula. Although, researchers found that people who were successful at weight loss burned the number of calories that you would by walking about an hour a day, almost every day of the week.
Regular exercise – especially walking - is beneficial for people of all ages. Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy. It also can improve sleep and helps to maintain a healthy weight.To learn more about Fitness for Health’s customized fitness programs for children through senior citizens, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.