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November 13, 2007

Walking To Lose Weight

By Lori Ryan

Walking is a great exercise; your entire body is moving and it improves overall health, especially if your life is quite sedentary otherwise.

But is walking to lose weight enough? Can you lose weight and maintain cardio health via walking alone?

Well the answer isn’t yes or no, but rather depends on what kind of walking you do.

The human body

Doctors agree that a routine of any kind should be modified every now and then to consistently challenge your mind and body, and keep yourself alert at all times.

Well, the same applies to workouts of any kind. While walking 60 minutes every day for the rest of your days is a better option than not walking at all, you need to understand that the body adapts to any and all changes quite quickly. So walking to lose weight is a great start, but you will need to modify your stride as your level of fitness evolves.

In order to improve your health or lose weight, you need to keep challenging your body by altering the exercise you do. Now that’s not to insinuate that you need to start running marathons, but you will have to change your routine every now and then.

Make small workout changes

Without sacrificing your morale or altering your routine to the point where you feel discouraged or intimidated by what’s ahead of you, these small changes will help you kick start your calorie-burning when you walk.

Walking to lose weight tip #1
Change your stride

While taking a stroll every now and then is great, you need to start paying attention to your stride when you walk. Do you take long strides or shorter ones?

If you tend to take long strides, start taking shorter ones instead and vice versa. You will call different muscles into play by doing so and increase the amount of calories burned.

Walking to lose weight tip #2
Move your arms

If you tend to keep your arms by your sides, call your upper body into play from now on by swinging your arms back and forth purposely. This will improve your coordination skills.

As well, your entire body will be getting a workout, as swinging your arms will, in turn, cause your back, shoulders and chest to move.

Walking to lose weight tip #3
Tighten your mid-section
During every few minutes of walking, tighten your abs and keep them contracted while you continue walking (do not forget to breathe). This will increase your heart rate.

If you spend an hour walking, try tightening your abs for about 30 seconds every three minutes. You may not develop a six-pack overnight, but you will be strengthening your core muscles.

Walking to lose weight tip #4
Change your pace periodically

If you maintain the same leisurely pace when you walk, it’s time to switch things up a bit by altering your tempo.

Walk at your same leisurely pace for a couple of minutes and then spend one minute walking at a more rapid pace to the point where you raise your heart rate significantly (speed walking, if you will).

Doing this will not only increase the amount of calories burned, it will also improve your heart.

Walk better and burn calories

You don’t need to make drastic changes to your walking ritual in order to make cardiovascular improvements. Small changes such as the ones mentioned above are all you need to do to see changes in your overall health.

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