If you have already discovered the wonders of walking, than you have also experienced the slump. After you begin a new walking program, you will eventually get to the point where it is providing little to no benefits for calorie burning. Why? This is simply because your body has adapted to the routine, your muscles have developed, and now you won’t get the same workout as you did. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, but if you want to get a higher calorie burning session out of your walking workout try out these simple suggestions.
Make sure you warm-up
A warm-up can help you get some of those ‘kinks’ and ‘pains’ out of your body before you begin your routine, making it a more enjoyable and beneficial workout. You don’t have to stretch every muscle using a towel, but you do need to at least run in place a little, and maybe do some side steps to get the blood flowing.
This doesn’t seem like a way to step up your walking workout, but it really is one of the best things you can do for your body. Develop a simply strength training program to do twice or three times a week. Your strength training should include working out your arms, legs, and stomach muscles, using small hand weights, resistance bands, or an exercise ball. It should last about 30 minutes, with a few repetitions of each exercise. Remember that building muscle will help you burn more calories during a regular cardio workout. And you’ll feel more energized to boot!
During your walking workout you need to do what is known as ‘interval training.’ If you walk for 60 minutes, than try to increase your pace every five minutes or so to an intense walk. This should be intermittent with periods of slower walking. Just doing a power walk for part of your workout will burn far more calories than a leisurely pace. You can even opt to do a 30 minute workout instead of a 60 minute one, and every other minute you should do the power walk; if you do this most times of the week, than you will definitely receive all the benefits of walking.
Put your heart into it
As tedious as this might sound at first, it is still necessary. While you are walking, take your pulse. Just count the number of beats within in a 10 second period on a wristwatch and then multiply this number by 6; this is your heart rate. You will have to do a little research as to the proper heart rate to burn calories for your age and weight, but a general rule is that it should be around 21 beats per 10 seconds if you are doing a cardio workout. Don’t settle for less. If, when you check your pulse a few times during your walking workout, you don’t seem to be working hard enough, than quicken your pace. Be sure to swing your arms, with your elbows bent; this will allow you to go faster and pull up your heart rate to a calorie burning range.
And finally, don’t settle for a walk workout slump. The benefits of walking can be renewed no matter how much you do it with just these few checkpoints. So go ahead and walk it off!