Walking is an exercise that is cheap and easy to do, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be considered a challenging workout. You can use walking to help you increase endurance, gain strength and lose weight. Here are some ways that you can adjust your walking routine to help you reach your fitness goals.
Increasing your endurance takes time, but it is well worth the effort. It strengthens your lung capacity, reduces high blood pressure and is good for your cardiovascular health. Begin slowly by walking 30 minutes a day at a comfortable pace (where you carry on a conversation while walking). When that becomes easy for you, add interval training to your workout. This incorporates short bursts of higher intensities and then periods of recovery time.
After your warm up, walk for 2 minutes at your comfortable pace. Then increase your speed so that you cannot talk while walking, and stay at that speed for one minute. Then decrease back to the previous pace for 2 minutes. Continue this for the duration of your workout. As your endurance increases, your levels of intensity will alter. For instance, when you begin, the pace at which you can talk comfortably may be 3.0 mph, but after a few weeks of exercising, you may be able to walk 3.5 mph while talking comfortably. However, use your breathing as your guide instead of the rate on the treadmill. Once you have mastered interval training with speed, try training with inclines. It will give your intervals a new dimension.
By incorporating some extra exercises into your walking routine, you can tone and sculpt your muscles during your workout. Begin by carrying small dumbbells or wearing wrist weights. After 10 minutes of your walk, step to the side. Using your dumbbells or weights, do some biceps curls. With your arms lowered in front of you and your palms facing away, slowly raise your weights to your chest, and then slowly lower them. Do 8 of these before moving to a triceps extension.
Hold the weights behind your head with both hands and with your elbows bent. Slowly raise the weights up as you straighten your arms, and then lower them back behind your head. Do 8 reps. Combine these exercises with any others that you prefer to build and sculpt lean muscles. Continue with your walk, but periodically step to the side to perform more repetitions of the strength training exercises.
Along with a healthy diet, a daily walk will put you on the right path for weight loss. Whether you choose to walk outdoors or on a treadmill, you can vary your routine to fit your weight loss goals. Aim to walk at least 40 minutes every day. Keep your pace at a comfortable level, but you should be breathing heavier than normal. Using the tips above for building endurance and for strength training will help you to reach your goal even sooner than walking at a steady pace.
Listen to some of you favorite music, or invite some friends to join you to help you stay motivated. One of the biggest keys to weight loss is just sticking to your plan, but your journey will be well-rewarded.