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|5 Essential Walking Tips|
|by Kathryn O'Neill
Walking exercise is one of the easiest ways to get in shape and burn fat. In fact, mile for mile, you can burn
as many calories walking as you would jogging. It's also one of the best stress relieving exercises that anyone can
do, regardless of fitness level.
Want to start a walking exercise program? Here are 5 tips to help you get the most walking bang for your buck:
(Article continued below.)
- Get your arms pumping.
Bring your upper body into your workout by pumping your arms. This is an easy way to burn more calories while
walking. If you want to tone up and use more arm muscle during your workout, try carrying 2 – 5 pound hand weights.
Bonus Benefit: pumping your arms propels you forward and helps you move faster — which means more distance
covered and more calories burned!
- Build in incline intervals.
Walking on an incline is one of the fastest ways to drastically skyrocket your calorie burn. But you don't have
to spend your whole workout on an incline. Try building in 30 – 60 second intervals of incline walking on your
treadmill every 5 to 10 minutes.
If you're walking outside and can't control your incline, try stopping every few minutes and doing 10 – 15
squats or lunges to tone your lower body.
Bonus Benefit: Building in intervals will also help your body continue to burn calories post-workout.
- Increase your pace, not your stride.
Got short legs? No problem! Instead of increasing your stride (and possibly pulling something), increase the
number of steps you take. This also increases your speed, which means more distance covered and more calories
- Invest in a pair of excellent walking shoes.
Walking in poor shoes can cause damage to your feet, knees, hips, joints and back. Wear poor shoes and you may
not be walking for a long time!
If you want to feel great after a walking workout (and be ready for the next one tomorrow), make sure you have
the best possible walking shoes you can afford.
Bonus Benefit: A solid pair of walking shoes can actually help you lengthen the time that you walk, which again
means more calories burned.
- Take plenty of time to warm up and stretch to avoid injury.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for stress relief and long-term fat loss. However there's this
little thing called shin splints that can threaten to put you out of walking commission for a while.
Many walkers and runners struggle with this problem. This constant repetitive flexing of the shin muscle can
create soreness when walkers increase their speed or distance.
To help ward off shin splints or other muscle injury, take plenty of time to warm up before you really get into
Also, make sure you stretch. Pointing and flexing your foot helps stretch and build the shin muscle. Ankle
rotations also help with this. Stretching properly will definitely keep you happy and walking for a long time
So there you have it — 5 essential walking exercise tips. Keep these in mind and you're guaranteed to
enjoy many stress-relieving, fat burning walks!
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